Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My First Time Playing Tribes: Ascend Open Beta

Last week the game Tribes: Ascend went open beta. I heard alot about it, so I downloaded it and tried it out. Here's my first multiplayer match. I only did some practice mode before that, so I wouldn't be a total noob.
Please excuse the horrible framerate. My laptop isn't that good and recording makes it only worse. While not recording, it's pretty smooth and playable. I got definatly better over time. It has a nice learning curve, where at the beginning you are pretty bad and get better pretty fast. I encourage you to try it out, because I never had so much fun playing a FPS recently.
Also, if you want to add me as a friend, my name is "Weezle91".

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nostalgia Sunday: Simpsons Hit & Run

Simpsons Hit & Run
While not being the best Simpsons game there ever was, this game still has a place in my nostalgic games. I never finished it, but what I was playing was pretty fun. The humour was good and GTA like playing style was great. It had some issues though, that as a kid, you can't really make out.

The Story:
Strange things are happening in Springfield. Robot wasps swarm the city and Bart disappears, after being kidnapped by a tractor beam. The Simpson family tries to find out, what is going on, uncovering that it all was done by aliens (of course). If I'd tell you more, I'd spoil too much, but that's the story. You'll get missions by the citizens, which mostly consist of races, and by completing them, you advance in the story. But there's so much more to do, as you can see in the segment below.

The Game:
While not doing the missions, the citizens give you, you can explore the city. Hit & Run is a sandbox game, having many similarities to GTA 3, which came out two years before. Instead of police stars, you have the Hit & Run meter. If it gets full, the police will start to chase you, till it's empty again. It's pretty much the same as in GTA 3, with a little difference. You can also unlock new character models or cars, by collecting coins in every level. The game had some issues though, be it the graphics, or some gameplay issues, concerning the games AI or the camera.

Prequels and Sequels:
The Simpsons being so successfull, of course made a path for a lot of video game adaptations. The first game, released in 1991, was "The Simpsons Arcade Game". Being the year I was born, I never played this game at the time and didn't till today. It has been released recently for Xbox Live Arcade, so it might be worth a play. Over the years many other Simpson games were released, ranging from platformers, to racing and sports games. Some where known for their incedible difficulty, others were just bad. In 2007, "The Simpsons Game" was released, being the latest of the Simpsons games and being a good one. Reviews mostly gave it a 7/10, which in my opinion is pretty good. I haven't played it, but saw videos of it and the cutscenes in the game, which are just plain funny Simpsons humour. You might want to check it out, but don't take the word from me, because you know...I haven't played it ;).

Long story short: The game was sold along with my PS2, so I can't play it. I don't really have the ambition to either, because it doesn't look as good, as I might think.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I've been tagged!

So there's this thing for bloggers apparently, where you answer 11 questions about yourself and then send 11 other people 11 questions and so on. I don't like the idea of chainmails, so I won't tag other people, but I'll still answer the questions. So here you go:

The Rules
Rule #1: Put the rules on your blog
Rule #2: Every person tagged should tell 11 things about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the one that tagged you, tag 11 other people and ask them 11 different questions.
Rule #3: Let the people whom you tagged know you've done so.
Rule #4: Don't tag anyone who's been tagged before
Rule #5: Really do tag 11 others, don't go all "if you want to take this tag".

1.  What... is your name?
Tobias, or rather "Toby" for you english speaking fellas.
2.  What... is your quest?
To write the best blog in the world! Nah, just kidding. I guess my quest is to live a happy life, with a good job and a family. If I have done that, my quest is completed.
3.  What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Because I'm so smart, I can tell you it's exactly 11 meters per second for an European Swallow...yeah, I just looked that up...
4.  Why are manhole covers round?
So you can roll them away, after lifting them off.
5.  Before you stand two identical guards, guarding two identical doors.  One of the doors goes to heaven, and one of the doors leads to hell.  One of the guards always tells the truth, and one of the guards always lies.  Both guards know which door is which, and each guard is fully aware of the other.  You want to pass through the door that leads to heaven.  You may only ask one of the guards a single question.  What question do you ask?
I'd ask one of the guards "What will the other one of the guards say, if I asked him, where this door leads to?". The opposite of what the guard I asked said, is the truth.
6.  Chunky or smooth peanut butter?
I don't eat peanut butter at all, so none.
7.  You have eight balls of the same size.  Seven of the balls weigh exactly the same, and one of them weighs slightly more.  How do you find which ball is the heavier one using a balance and only two weighings?
First you weigh three balls against three other balls. If they weigh the same, one of the two not weighed balls must be heavier, then just weigh them. If at the first weighing, one side is heavier, take two of those balls and weigh them against each other. If the weigh the same, the third ball is the heavier one, otherwise one of the two is.
8.  Your house is on fire and you only have time to bring one item out with you.  What do you grab and why?
That would propably be my laptop I'm writing on right now, if people are excluded.
9.  If you cook, what's your best dish?  If not, what's your favorite food?
The only thing I can cook are pancakes and they are damn awesome!
10.  How was your day today?
Writing alot of blogposts in advance (just like this one) and playing some video games. Could be worse.
11.  A cat is placed in a sealed box with a piece of radioactive material and a vial of poison gas.  The radioactive material has exactly a 50/50 chance of decaying after 1 minute.  If the radioactive material decays, the poison gas will be released and kill the cat.  After 1.5 minutes, what is the state of the cat?
Ha, I know Schroedinger's cat, so the answer would be both or none, because we can't say to a 100%, in which state the cat is in.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My First Time Playing Modern Warfare 3 (Multiplayer)

The Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer was free to play last weekend, so I though, why not check it out. Lucky for you guys, I recorded my first EVER match in MW3, I ever played. It pretty much shows, why I don't like the game. Not to mention all the hackers, that weren't in this video.

That said, I of course played the game more than just that one match and I have to say: It's not that bad. It was fun to play for that weekend and I can understand, why people play it. But still: I can have all that fun in the older Modern Warfare games too. Not much has changed and the third game feels much like the first one (CoD4).
What I hate about this game though and I think it shows in the video, are the killstreaks. They are stupid and overpowered. The whole game is fun, till someone has to use e.g. the helicopter and be the Terminator in person. That's why I like the Pro Mod in CoD4MW more, than any of the other games.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nostalgia Sunday: Tomb Raider

Yep, I still have the original CD!
Tomb Raider
When my father returned from a business trip to the Netherlands, he had a surprise for us. This game. It was a great surprise, because who would have known, we would have played this game for so long. Unfortunatly, my brother did overwrite a savegame at a point, where Lara is falling down and then dying, giving us no chance to continue. That pretty much killed it, though I think we saw the ending by using cheats.
The Story:
The story of the game is really complex, so I'll try to tell it as easy as possible.
After an eartquake and an explosion in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, an ancient device gets exposed, which, after being unlocked, reveals a person in suspended animation. This was the past and Lara, now in the present, gets the mission, to travel into the mountains of Peru to Qualopec, to find a mysterious artifact called Scion. After getting it she gets attacked by a man named Larson, which, after he's been beaten by Lara, tells her, that the artifact she has, is only one part of three. Lara now sets out into different areas in the world, to find the two other parts of the Scion and trys to stop the bad guys from getting it first. Sounds a little short and dumbed down, I know. Look the story up on Wikipedia, if you want a more detailed one. Check out the intro of the game below, if you like.

The Game:
The first time I shit my pants in a video game
Tomb Raider was one of the first 3D platformers, meaning you would have to overcome obstacles, by jumping from ledge to ledge and climbing along walls. While exploring different caves and areas, there are also enemies, which must be killed through the use of weapons, though that isn't the main focus of the game. You rather have to, like said above, get onto platforms and reach a certain object, being mostly an artifact. To get to them, you also have to solve puzzles, which makes those two the main parts of the game.

Prequels and Sequels:
Well, who do I have to tell, that there were many, many sequels to the original Tomb Raider. Guess what? I never played any of those, except a demo for Tomb Raider 2, if I remember correctly. From what I hear, the games got worse over time. In 2007, Eidos released a remake of the first Tomb Raider game, for the 10th anniversary of Lara Croft called "Tomb Raider Anniversary". I haven't got around to buying and playing it, mostly because I'm not really interested in those kind of games anymore. But what I'm looking forward to is the new Tomb Raider game, which should be a reboot to the series. We don't know much yet, but it takes a different approach, than the earlier games, making Lara younger and more vulnerable. It will be released 2012, if nothing goes wrong.

I haven't played this game for a good 10 years. Might aswell try it out again and see, if it holds up to today. It's an interesting and fun game after all.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Double Fine Makes an Adventure Game (Update #1)

Click the link, Schafer won't hurt you, I promise!

One week after the kickstarter donation thing for Double Fines adventure game started, Tim Schafer now posted an update. With the extra money, they are now able to make the game not only on PC, but also on Mac, Linux and on Smartphones. Further, they are now able to have voice acting for the english version, which will be translated in text for the French, German, Italian and Spanish version.
It's great to see this project take form and expanding. I hope for more good updates in the future.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Movies I Just Watched: Surrogates

So this is a new segment I'd like to include to my blog. It's about movies, that I obviously just watched and I just want to make a small review about. Rather than telling you the whole story, I'll just tell you, how I think it was, so you don't get too much information about the movie. Most movies I'll review were propably on TV and I didn't know much about them, which makes it more fun to watch.
What does this have to do with videogames? Nothing! I'd like to expand this blog a little more, rather than just posting video game news, or the Nostalgia Sunday. I hope you enjoy it. Feedback is always appreciated!

The Story In One Sentence (from IMDb):
Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates.

My Opinion:
While not being a Blockbuster, the movie is quite enjoyable. The special effects are well done. The surrogates look like robots, while not looking too unrealistic. The acting by Bruce Willis is as good as always and he pretty much delivers the movie, while the other actors are good too. The ending, for me, and the story were a little confusing. Something was established at the beginning of the movie and at the end, they seemed to forgot it. Or I'm just missing something.

Would I Recommend It?
Yes. It's a good movie for a boring evening, where you don't have anything else to do. I wouldn't buy it though, if it isn't pretty cheap. It's more of a movie, you watch on TV.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nostalgia Sunday: Lego Racers

Lego Racers
This was such a fun game, back in the day. Racing against other Lego characters with your custom build go-kart. I remember some of the "Boss Races" being incredibly difficult, but that just may be, because I wasn't as good at games as today haha.

The Story:
One of your opponents, Captain Redbeard
Rocket Racer, the best racer in the Lego universe, becomes bored and holds a challenge. He travels through time and space, to find worthy opponents he can race against. You now must defeat all the other bosses on their track, to be able to finally race against the champion, Rocket Racer. It's simple as that.

The Game:
The game is a simple "Fun Racer". You finish several laps on the track, while collecting power-ups, which you can use against other racers, or on your own car, making it faster for a short period of time, for example. There are also short-cuts, which you can drive through, when using a certain power-up. It's possible, and encouraged, to build your own car. At the beginning you only have a small amount of bricks to use on your car, but you get more, by completing the courses and beating the bosses. Aside from the "Story Mode" with Rocket Racer, there's also a time trial mode for every track. You'll race against Rocket Racers friend, Veronica Voltage, who will give you her car, if you beat her on the first three circuits. There's also a multiplayer mode for two racers, in which you race against each other in splitscreen mode. I wish I could tell you more, but that is the game. Even though it doesn't feature much, I still have fond memories of it, so it was a fun game for me.

Prequels and Sequels:
Like the picture above suggests, Lego made a second game out of the Lego Racers franchise, Lego Racers 2. It was for PC, Playstation 2 and Gameboy Advance. I never had it, so I can only tell you, what the Internet told me. It seems like, it's pretty much the same as the first game, with a little more. There are now more racers on the track, with much more unique cars. It is also more of an open world game, where you get missions, aside from the races. The ratings from gametesters were rather good, giving around 7.2 points.

The second game looks fun, but propably nothing I would play at this time. I think both Lego Racers games have aged badly, but that's personal taste.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Double Fine Makes an Adventure Game

Double Fine reached out to its fans two days ago, saying, they will make an adventure game, if they get 400.000$, so it's financially doable. 24 hours later, they already reached that mark and the number's still growing. As I type this, they made 1.265.909$. Pretty impressive and it shows, that people still want adventure games, even though the last years not many have been made...except in Germany haha.
If you want to help Tim Schafer and his crew at Double Fine out, click the link below and back up the project, by donating a few dollars.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Super Bowl XLVI and Football in Games

Last sunday I watched football for the first time in my life. As I'm from Germany, football isn't as big here as in America. Our favorite sport is soccer, but I just never got into that. I was watching a movie that was on tv and during a commercial break I saw the Super Bowl logo in the corner and when it would start. I was curious, so after the movie ended, I watched the whole four hours of it and was never bored. I didn't cheer for any team, because I didn't knew anything about them, so every touchdown or good play by any team was fun to watch.

Now what does this have to do with video games?
I really am into some kind of football craze now and am looking for a good football game for the Xbox 360, as there certainly isn't one for the PC. I checked out the demo for Madden NFL 12 and it's really fun.
Is there another football game, or football game series I'm missing out on? I just want to get the best experience for my money. Please tell me in the comments, if you know a good one.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nostalgia Sunday: Need For Speed II - Special Edition

 Need For Speed II - Special Edition

I got this game way back before the year 2000. It was for sale in a discounter and I got this along with FIFA 98, on which I might do another Nostalgia Sunday. It was a real fun game and my neighbours had it too, so we could play against each other. These were the days, where Need for Speed games were still good.

The Story:
You had three modes to choose from: Single Race, Tournament, or Knockout Race. Single Race is pretty self explanotory. You can race any track and try to get familiar with it. In Tournament mode, you race against several computer driven cars and try to become first. After finishing every track in the tournament and being first, you unlock new tracks, cars and the Knockout mode. In the Knockout mode you race against other cars. Every round, the last car gets eliminated, till there's only one left, who will be the winner. That's your "story". Who would have thought a racing game had a story anyway? Who am I kidding, I'll get to those in the "Sequels and Prequels" part.

The Game:
At first, you can choose between two modes: Arcade and Simulation. They pretty much speak for themselves, as Arcade is more for fun racing and Simulation for a more realistic feel. You then can choose between your cars, which reign from a McLaren F1 to a Ford Indigo concept car. The tracks differ from each other too. They take you into a jungle, into snowy mountains and also in the australian Outback. There's also a multiplayer mode for Splitscreen racing, or through a LAN network. There was a special track only for LAN races, but I never got to see it unfortunatly. After a while we had the game I also found out about cheats from my neighbours. Not those were really fun. You'd enter a code in the main menu and your car would change to another one. There were cars like a VW Beetle, that weren't even available through the normal game. You could even change your car to a giant T-Rex, or a toilet. It was fun experimenting with this, as you could even get a car, that was so fast, you couldn't even control it.

Prequels and Sequels:

Now if you don't know about the Need For Speed series, you have been propably living under a rock for 20 years. From being a more arcady game, it changed to being a simulation several times and back. I didn't play all the games, but some which I really enjoyed. Need For Speed Underground for the PS2, was the first NFS game I got after NFS2. The new style it had, tuning and street races, was a fresh breath in the racing genre. The whole game was fun and NFSU2 even improved on its predecessor. Then was basically again a time, where I didn't play any NFS game till today. After NFSU2, none of the NFS games seemed to appeal to me and many people thought like that too, I think. It was the same game every year, with a stupid story and not much playtime. The newest NFS game, Need For Speed The Run, is the best example. You can play through it in two hours and the long awaited "on foot" segments where just quick time events. Hopefully EA can go back to its roots and make a good NFS game again. I'd buy it.

As the first picture shows, I still have the game. I can't run it though, because it won't work on Windows 7. I have the PSX game for an emulator, but it just doesn't feel right for some way.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Syndicate Demo Impressions

So the demo of the game Syndicate came out a few days ago and I'd like to share my experiences with it.
First of all, I know the first Syndicate was more of a RTS game, while this is a FPS. I never played the original, so I can't draw any similarities or contrasts between the two. This is just about the new Syndicate.

So the first thing I did, obviously, was to download the game. It's about 800MB or something, so that didn't take long. I started the game, watched the intro and all that, and was then finally in the main menu. Till here: All fine. Then you choose to play coop. This menu STILL is ok. It's a little confusing, but still doable. The you use RB to choose your agent and my god I can't read anything. I have a 23 inch Full HD TV and I just can't decipher what's on the screen, until I move up close to the TV.
If you figured all that out, you'll choose your agent, what weapons he has, a server to play on and then the game starts.
You will propably have to wait for the other players, while waiting in a truck first. Everything is fine, but then BAM!
Your screen is cluttered with infos about your health, weapons, abilities, your teammates, your objective, where to find the holy grail and how 9/11 could have been avoided. Jokes aside, after a few minutes, you'll get used to it, but it still isn't really comfortable.
The gameplay itself is pretty much like any other shooter. You run through a level, kill the bad guys and enter new areals. What the game adds though, are the abilities in the lower left corner and the Dart Overlay in the lower right corner, which lets you see through walls and make out enemies for a small period of time. Your health is pretty low and the game mainly focuses on teamplay, so running and gunning like in Call of Duty isn't an option. You'll meet some small bosses in the level, which need your teamplay. They are immune to all projectiles, till someone disables the armour of the boss, by standing next to him and holding LB. The other teammates would have to distract the boss, so one teammate can do that.

Conclusion? I enjoy the demo, for what it is. The gameplay is fun, even though it's nothing new and seems to cash in on the "Call of Duty like shooters". I won't buy it though, till there's something that stands out to me, like a really good story, or more elements, that not every other shooter has.
You should try the demo out for yourself though. It's only 800MB.