Aldershot

Check out Aldershot on his YouTube Channel.

The Luckiest T-Shirt

Check out our own Dan Morton and his Magic: the Gathering Podcast.

JermEx Machina

Drop by and see Jermex on his YouTube Channel.

MichaelBtheGameGenie

Go See MichaelBtheGameGenie on YouTube.

“God Hates Game Designers”


When I came across this pic today, I was honestly very confused. I mean, what is wrong with these people? Then I did a little reading. This scene took place at a Game Developers Conference, in San Francisco last week. The protesters were arguably over the top with the whole “God Hates Game Designers” thing. However, from a social and artistic perspective I can understand their point. Part of what he is arguing is that gaming has become more about making money than providing an entertaining, and artistic form of human expression. What interested me most was this statement:
If you reduce fun to a set of mechanisms reminiscent of a rat in a cage hitting a lever to get a pellet, I think that reduces something rich and vital about the human experience. (Quote from Ars Technica)
I think what they are getting at here is “the grind”. After personally (or at least virtually) running around completing quests, and killing so many of this or that creature in WoW, I kind of see the point. This stuff does keep us playing. However, is this time well spent or just a colossal waste of time? Maybe something we should ask ourselves next time someone asks us to slay 50 giant spiders or whatever.

Brutal Legend is Double Fine


Ok so with the excitement of Tim Schafer making a new game, Double Fine Adventure, which had 87,142 people pledge $3,336,371 to fund its development on Kickstarter, I decided to purchase a game I had yet to finish by the same great game developer. That game is Brutal Legend, which i picked up from a friendly local game shop for only $10. If this is a game you have never played I really suggest you get out there and pick up a copy. The gameplay has so many different genre aspects rolled into one awesomely fun adventure, and the fact that I find Tim’s sense of humor awesome totally helps.
First off a little explanation of the game, which is probably best described by EA

Jack Black stars as Eddie Riggs, a roadie who’s sucked into a mythical Age of Rock to fight evil, liberate an army of headbangers from a life of oppression, find love, and discover his life’s purpose. Heavy stuff until one realizes the universe of BrĂ¼tal Legend has sprung up from the mind of legendary game director Tim Schafer.
Enter the world of Heavy Metal where mountains are made of amplifiers, killer spiders spin guitar strings, druids want to kill you, and Rock Legends roam the landscape.
Armed with a massive battle-axe, guitar, and his hot-rod, Eddie will rip the faces off of demons. As Eddie, expect to crush skulls, ravage the road in the Deuce, and unleash the power of Heavy Metal to reign down fire from the sky — all to save humanity and become a brutal legend.
Now what are the game genres you ask? First off it is very open world, you can hop in Deuce your Hot Rod and cruse around the landscape which Schafer says is almost equal to 100 KM squared. There is also a guitar hero feel to casting magic from Clementine your guitar by playing different riffs. As well the battle systems has you overseeing different units, which you can only build once you have enough fans, much like a real time strategy. Besides these cool elements there are also small puzzles you have to figure out, weather it be navigating a maze with deuce, or trying to safely pass through a cavern unnoticed.

Bottom line the game is fun as hell, and if your a fan of metal you may just find yourself roaming the countryside in deuce listening to the tracks you unlock!

Review: Dokapon Kingdom


I originally picked up this game after playing it at lunch with my friends, it looked wacky, silly and fun. My friend had it for SNES so that’s what we played it on, although it was completely in Japanese and the items were very hard to distinguish from one another. The game was very easy to pick up, using rock-paper-scissor mechanics for many of its finer gameplay elements.

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You’ve probably never heard of “Dokapon Kingdom” and if you have it’s more than likely you have never played it. Originally produced in 1994, Dokapon Kingdom (Dokapon 1-2-3 in Japan), is a series of games uniquely classified as “Board game RPG” and contains elements that are familiar to players of Final Fantasy and Mario Party. There are four currently available for SNES(Japan Only), remakes on the PS2 and Wii and a unique version for the DS called “Dokapon Journey”. Although there are many slight changes from version to version (classes, items and skills, and board design tend to vary game to game) the formula is always the same, monsters are invading Dokapon Kingdom and The King of Dokapon enlists the players to go free the towns from boss monsters that increase in difficulty as you go further out into the board. Whoever gets the most money by the end of the game gets to marry the princess.

Hit the jump for the rest ^_^

Beyond the basics there are many gameplay quirks that make this game uniquely strange and produces many hilarious results. The ability to rename other players after killing them never ceases to amuse me, and the fact you can attempt to steal from stores can give you a very early advantage or disadvantage in the game depending on whether you are succesful or not.

Yes we do Weber, We want to see your “Magic”

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If you do fail, a bounty is put on your head and you are not allowed to enter any town or store for the rest of that week, which can lead you to become the number one target of your fellow Dokapon heroes. Players will try to roll the exact number of spaces to get to your spot and if they do you will have a PvP battle. To be fair the PvP is almost the exact same thing as PvE, except for the rewards. The battle often turns into a game of rock, paper, scissors , each player chooses a card at the beginning of their round (which is dependant on whose turn it is) and the card determines the order of play for that round. Each attacking or defending player gets four options, Attack, Strike, Magic Attack and a fourth class specific ability for attackers while defenders get Defend, Counter, Magic Defend and Run.
Attack is a basic attack, which defend can block for less damage, strike is a heavy damage which can normally kill anything in 1-2 hits however if it is countered the attacker will have the damage reflected back, while magic attack is based on your magic stat and magic defend only reduces damage from a magic attack.
If you lose this battle the attacker will steal something or prank you, stealing includes your armor/weapons which can leave you defenseless end game, items, money, or a town(towns increase your money supply if you take taxes from them and automatically increase your worth and can be obtained by beating bosses). Pranks may include changing your hairstyle to bald or “Poop”, marking up your face in various ways or changing your name to the victor’s choice.
The game does come with its downsides, in the Wii and the PS2 versions of the game the voice acting is terrible(of course this could be on purpose knowing Dokapon). The game is unbalanced with leads constantly changing between players, abilities are seemingly useless for some players and at points there are annoying fetch quests that take you across the entire board. At times you will have to grind against enemies to beat the story bosses. Waiting for revival after death can take several turns as well, making you loss precious time opposed to other players. It can also take a few dozen meetings. to get a multiplayer game done, the game is long.
In short, Dokapon Kingdom is an amazing game and you should play it, and get your friends to play it too because it’s much better multiplayer. The gameplay does take a little getting used to but once you do it is a very worthwhile investment, although one game might take 30 hours.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dokapon_Kingdom

First Starbound Gameplay Video has appeared!


Tiy, Starbound’s lead developer, released this video tonight. It demonstrates the new lighting system they just implemented.
The lighting was created by one of their fantastic coders, Kyren, who has brilliantly breathed new life into 2d.

Hit the jump for a list of fantastic features confirmed for the game.
Ok, This is a list of confirmed features, they are not all implemented. This list is by no means complete, we will update when we have a significant amount of new info to provide. There are plenty of features I won’t be mentioning here, But I WILL source a more comprehensive list on the bottom of the post.
This is largely copied directly from Blue’s forum post, now without further ado.
  • Left and Right Mouse Buttons will allow dual wielding weapons/items without having to switch between them
  • After successfully blocking, the player has a chance to counter attack the enemy to do a guaranteed critical hit.
  • Players can crouch and “walk” by holding shift and go into ‘sneak mode’ and walk by enemies without being seen.
  • Items are procedurally generated not only in visual style but in stats, multitudes in variation of just one weapon possible to be discovered and shared with friends. Shields are Procedurally generated as well.
  • Some weapons will have charge times before firing, like a chargeable cannon
  • There will be tools that are useful in combat. Making an engineer class possible.
  • There will be Flashlight mods for some weapons
  • Items will have an outline color in the UI to show their rarity.
  • Humanoid enemies will appear. Many will be grouped into teams to appear as if they are working together.
  • Creatures can be cataloged by players so they can look back on the strange and wonderful things they have discovered
  • You can also click a plant (Using your Electronic Logbook) to find/store information about it as well to see if they have any use as materials
  • Creatures can be caught and trained to help you fight. These creatures will have stats such as defense, attack damage, speed, which will increase will kills. They can also be trained to fly or swim, etc.
  • Enemy behavior will play an integral role in how you defeat them, much like in megaman/castlevania.
  • Enemy Appearance, like weapons, will be highly variable. Some appearances will be less common and offer players a different drop of rarer quality
  • Slopes have been implemented, and this allows much more free/fluid movement for players and things like vehicles.
  • Liquid physics have been planned, but no more info has been given beyond that there will be water, acid and oil which will be all ‘goopy’.
  • Created procedurally based on coordinates. Coordinates will always create the same world, so you can share with friends.
  • Worlds that are not infinite in size will loop around, so if you travel far enough you will end up back at your start area, as if the planet is a real sphere.
  • Some worlds will have pre-generated story elements, which have been hand crafted with specific gameplay in mind.
  • Quests will also be procedurally generated.
  • No limit to npc/crew size, but space station has limited space, so you’ll have to move people to planet bases too.
  • If the player is attacked while blocking with a shield they will take a small percentage (depending on the level of the shield) of regular damage that’s applied to the players health bar as white “recoverable” health (images). This white health will automatically regenerate at end of battle if you do not take a direct hit.

Minecraft and Bukkit Team Up


So as most of you know I have been running a Minecraft server for a good while now (Since Alpha 0.2) and ever since Bukkit was formed at the end of 2010 I have been using it as an API as well as the source for all my mod’s. As of this past Tuesday the 28th of February Bukkit has become an official part of the Mojang team. This means that a new official API is in development and is being coded by who I think have the best server mod currently. This I think is great news as it will result in the official Minecraft server implementing everything plus more that we have come to love from Bukkit, it will also mean that this process should go smoother as the developers have already dealt with a lot of issues and can bypass them. This also means that for the time being the Mojang team will be helping make Bukkit more solid as well as allowing quicker releases of the API.
So I would like to say congratulations to both Mojang and Bukkit, and I hope the merger goes well, and I look forward to the release of their new server.

FortressCraft



So there is still some controversy as to whether or not FortressCraft is a Minecraft clone, but after checking out some of the features it has with the eighth free content patch the game looks pretty interesting and has taken its own direction.
In case you were unaware FortressCraft is one of several sandbox games similar in style to Minecraft which were released on XBLA (XBox Live Arcade). The game is only 240 MSP and has a great style as well as many cool features including.
Rayguns
Trampolines
Rewards for creating highly rated servers
Multiple game modes (including FreezeTag, Hunt and Spleef Arena)
Highly configurable world creation
Highly configurable detail options, including lots of fun postpro shaders
Automated machines to dig for you
Tectonic Rise
Teleporters
A crafting workshop that lets you craft your own unique blocks
Varied blocks – kiddie, futuristic, pixel creation

Now this post is a pre purchase view of the game, so check out a later view after I Own and play it for a bit.

Assassin’s Creed 3: Revealed

Your source for all things Assassin’s Creed is back! And with big news!

Game Informer released today their cover for their April edition of their magazine, and it looks like its going to be Assassin’s Creed 3 making it’s debut on the cover.

Taken from the link above, It’s going to be set in the late 1800′s America and will have conflict between Native Americans and the Revolutionaries. Though this is the only information they have released, So it’s really all up in the air about who the new star of the game will be, and what his story is.
I can’t wait to be honest. I think that this is a nice change from the Eastern world we’ve been in with Altiar and Ezio. I’m so sad to see Ezio’s story end, But like all good things, It must happen (Maybe it’s because Ezio was such a charmer and ladies man).
The only thing doubting in my mind will be the landscapes. From what I’ve gathered from Game Informer, the new protagonist is of Native American descent (In one of the concept art shown below, He’s got feathers on his bow and arrow as well a tomahawk). I can see it possibly having a somewhat red dead feel to the landscapes. I mean, It’s the American Revolution, It’s not going to be as epic as early Italy(The landscapes in AC2 and Brotherhood blew me away, Revelations I was MEH about the landscapes.. Small map, dull architectural spaces, Etc. ) I’m hoping for a lot of roaming in the wilderness, Maybe some hunting wolves to make clothes, escaping from the American’s with their guns on horseback, Etc.
I really do think that this game will hold up to the previous installments, but to what avail?
As I’ve said before here on this blog, I’m a very much story driven player. I find myself rushing through the main missions and missing all the side missions, Just because I’m so caught up in the story that i NEED to know what is going to happen next. I tried my best to not let this happen in Revelations but… my love of Ezio got the better of me. What will the missions be like… and the side missions…. The assassin brotherhood?
Something else that has gotten me thinking is; this is the third installment, And with each game we get closer and closer to modern time… This game will be set in the 1800′s… Will Assassin’s Creed 4 have our main character, Desmond, as a modern-day assassin in the modern time? If so, I hope someone clues up the Lucy story! They didn’t even touch on it in Revelations.
So to sum up because I realize I rambled a little there(something I’m good at), I can’t wait for this game to make its debut on October 30th! I’m so pumped to see what exactly the last three years have created! I still haven’t heard anything on the multi player, but when I do, I’ll be sure to post about it!
So as we say goodbye to one of our most beloved characters, We welcome a new chapter into our lives.
Ezio, It’s been real.
Steph

**** All photos and link from Game Informer, Except the xbox cover, That is from Ubisoft’s Facebook Fan Page****