Monday, 21 July 2014
I would think that Mr Hangman Joe and I will have VERY different lists, we haven't discussed this list at all aside from I expect that we will both select Dark Souls.
That's interesting here is that although I do label myself as a 'gamer' I'm not that serious about it, I'm a Sci-fi/Comic Book Nerd primary and my true passion is Computer 'tinkering' (while watching Start trek the Original Series, oh, god, I need to get out more)
So with the scene set allow me to Present the 5 Games that should be played before your untimely demise! - that it, in my opinion, anyway. (I expect Hangmans list will be far better)
1 - Dark Souls.
Dark Souls is a game I have only come to play very recently but already its had a really profound impact on me. Dark Souls is nut kickingly hard. Its the most unforgiving game I have ever played and for the first few hours I hated it. I hated it so much I wished I could un-play it. I stuck at it because I wanted to find out why my friend loved it so much
I was stuck on the first real Boss in the game. I was stuck there for an embarrassingly long amount of time. For literally hours I would take a go, die, walk back to him and take a go, then redo. But, then, I began to notice small thing, the way the boss leaned back a second before striking, the way his leg arched as he hit. I could use this information to be a second faster, to role away as needed. Then I started memorizing the patterns of attack that the regular enemy's used.
Each death became a fresh chance to make it a perfect 'run' I would get to the boss without even taking a single hit from the many enemy's on route. Then slowly I began to face the boss on even ground. I knew him better than he knew me and eventually I prevailed. I put my pad down, I looked at the screen clear of my enemy and for the first time in years I felt like I had accomplished something in a game. I had worked for my victory and it felt good. In most games where it takes one or two attempts to progress victory is hollow but entertaining. In Dark souls its a slog and a fight in a way that no game I have ever played comes close to.
The reason that Dark Souls is number one on my list isn't just because its hard but its because its smart. Its calculatingly difficult and it knows how you will respond as a gamer. The areas are interlocked in often jarring ways and progression is measured in moments of realization more than kill count or XP gained.It gives you nothing and takes everything. Its wonderful. It's also the first game that I have ever liked that I am aware is working against me at all times. Dark Souls doesn't want me to win. Not until I deserve to.
The advice I was given about the game is the advice that I would give you. "To love Dark Souls you must first play it until you don't hate it any more." I cant thank Hangman enough for forcing me to play it with his endless nagging. He was totally right. Dark souls is amazing and it should be both played and respected.
2 - Half Life 2.
I know, I'm nothing if not predicable. Half life two is now a pretty old game. Its been considered the best first person shooter of all time since the day it came out. The lust for its sequel is at this point legendary. I have put HL2 at second place, I'm also including episodes one and two in this pick. It's really one game and should be treated as such.
If you like FPS games you owe it to yourself to play the game that sets the bar for them. Half Life two balances story, characters game-play, setting, excitement and events in a way that still to this day no other game even comes close to. Its a true work of perfection in almost every way. I would even go as far as saying that its the first game to take a character and turn her into a real dynamic and believable person. I'm talking of course about Alex Vance, My first Video Game Crush.
Every time you start to get accustomed to something in the game, it changes. Every time you think you know what you have to do or where you have to go, it changes. HL2 never slows down and there is not a single boring moment.
The game starts as dystopian science fiction, transitions into survival horror (the genuinely scary kind) then squad based shooter before finishing up as hi-science physics based shooting extravaganza.
You are not qualified to say that a first person shooter is 'good' or not until you have finished HL2. This game shows you the meaning of the word and only when you have finished it do you actually have a frame of reference.
3 - Portal 2
Yes. Another Valve game. Up until I actually sat down to write this pot I was planning on putting the first Portal game at spot number 3. Then I actually sat and thought about it and I think the second one is actually a more important game.
The first Portal game blew my mind. I was playing a game that worked like a First Person Shooter but Acted like a puzzle game. It made my brain actually hurt at times and I loved every second of it.
The second game however has everything the first game does. If you have never played either then I think that the feeling I had playing the first one will hit you just as hard with this title. With the added bonus of some astonishingly great voice acting and some characters that really make it memorable. It's also great because there's more to it that 'just' portals. Portal two will challenge your mind, entertain you and leave you wishing all games were as charming.
Portal is long, visually diverse and trains you to play in a way that makes you just a little smarter. It got this spot on my list because its shows that the FPS genre doesn't need to be all about the 'S' when the 'F' and 'P' are just as important.
In many ways Valve brought to portal all the things that made Half Life 2 great and that deserves nothing but praise.
4 - Counter Strike
Another Valve game... I didn't realize just how much they had impacted me as a gamer until now. The reason Counter Strike is on this list is partly because of its history (starting as a Half Life Mod and then spinning out into its own title) and partly because its a pure FPS game, that is to say, If you can play Counter Strike well then you can play anything.
Counter Strike is a pure Player vs Player Experience. There's no mechanics to confuse the matter. You see someone and you shoot them while trying not to get shot. These skills will take you far in any shooter be it COD or Unreal. Once you can use a mouse and keyboard to shoot things everything else is fluff.
Also, personally, I think CS:GO (Global Offensive) is the best Competitive shooter around at the moment, for all the reasons I listed above.
5- World Of Warcraft
The hardest thing about this list has been limiting it to 5 games. In last place it was almost surely going to be DOTA or LoL but in the end I realized that the experience of playing an MMO was something that as a gamer I enjoyed greatly and played far more than any other genre so far. My poison of choice was the first Guild Wars game and then some Lord of the Rings online but WoW is great. It never stuck with me personally but WoW is a rock solid world filled with random encounters and things to do. Every gamer should play an MMO at some point and why not play the one that has the largest world and the most players.
MMO's can be all encompassing experiences. Some people even say they are addictive but still, gamer's should try at least one MMO. The act of wondering about a virtual world while other people run past going about their business, killing things, fighting and chatting its something that really should be enjoyed at least for a while by everyone.
Finally - MOBA's and classics.
My list of games is selected and I think i chose well but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be some Honourable mentions.
Everyone should spend some time with a good MOBA, like DOTA or LoL. Its a growing e-sport's scene and there are some great experiances to be hand both playing and watching.
Classics - Just because a game is old it doesn't mean its bad. Monkey island, Dune 2, Xcom (the original 2,) Frontier Elite 2, Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 2D and Commander Keen are just some things that string to mind when i think about the classics that inspired generations of gamers and developers.
I kept my list mostly contemporary because I think the classics should be enjoyed as that, little slices of history as many of them simply wont stand up from a graphical or control point of view.
I hope you enjoyed my list.
Friday, 6 June 2014
Posted by Hex DSL at 20:36
Thursday, 6 March 2014
I play a lot of Diablo 3. In fact since Guild Wars 2 lost its shine for me I have played pretty much nothing but Diablo 3. As a maximum level Wizard with a Paragon Rank of 17 I was constantly picking up 'good stuff' you know, the gold item drops and monstrous piles of golden coins. Recently however something was amiss. I went from seeing gold item drops every few seconds to seeing them every few hours. It has been frustrating to say the least. I thought at first that the problem that was plaguing me was just my worry but my good friend and blog buddy Mr Fish was seeing the same issue. In truth it was not only an irritation but was starting to cost me game gold. The drop rates were turned down but the repair costs were the same. Then came my saviour... A game Patch.
The legendary patch known by the masses as Loot 2.0 has been eagerly awaited since it was rumoured about an hour after the Paragon system was introduced. Well, the patch is here now and the drop rates are all fixed, feeling even and well thought out along with a myriad of game tweaks. There are some additional UI alterations that really have made Diablo a better game.
Upon launching the game (and eventually patching it, as the process has been a little buggy) you will be greeted with the new (out of beta) Blizzard launcher that is a very nice kiosk for your account as a whole showing you all your Blizzard games and patches them all in one place (when it works, but that's another matter) all you have to do now is locate Diablo 3 on the list and launch it, Steam style.
The first thing you will notice logging in is the main menu, its not a very functional design with a heavy focus on group play, Blizzard even went as far as making it a chore to start a single player game. Once you load into a game veteran players will instantly feel the tightened net-code at work with a smoother experience from start to finish as well as the newly build social panel that is only every a click away making it easy to find a group as well as potentially make friends. the new Guild/Clan system is a brilliant idea, especially if you are a member of a forum or group who want to play together.
Moving on into the meat of the game you will constantly encounter those tweaked drops making it highly likely that you will get something you want with improved regularity. Personally I got an 'orange' weapon that served up over 1.2K damage in my first real play session. I am very impressed with these improvements. I can see now why Blizzard have chosen to wind down the auction house service as the game loot really is a treat with each drop making your loot hound senses tingle.
The monster power and distribution is now much more even with the new difficulty levels that make the game more inviting to new players and more satisfying for veterans.
If I had to search for criticism I would be hard pressed, everything is improved in this patch, from Frame rates to Monster animations, there is very little for the die hard Diablo 3 player to pick fault with.
Linux thoughts: As a Linux user I try to offer my experiences from this angle as well and I can say that in Linux Diablo 3 has always been 'okay' not great but, okay. Since the patch has dropped I have had constant issues with the game crashing into a mess of graphical corruption to the point where is crashed my out second monitor and then stopped Gnome Shell in its tracks. I had to drop to CLI and kill it from there. Once closed however Gnome restarted and a reboot was not required. Still, this may be more to do with the shockingly bad AMD proprietary driver than the game or Wine/PlayOnLinux. I should be able to tell you more when my Nvidia card finally arrives next week some time.
Sunday, 2 February 2014
I am going to start a series of blogs, of which my GTA one would probably be the first. I am going to call it "Things what I don't get." This one is going to be about Pokemon. With my 3DS being the only Nintendo handheld I have owned, the whole Pokemon game phenomenon has pretty much passed me by. I understand, from the internet and people I know, that Pokemon is a pretty big thing and a nostalgic touchstone for many.
With all this in mind I got a copy of the newest Pokemon (X not Y, though the difference is lost on me). I played a good 6 or 7 hours, waiting for the inevitable love that the internet told me was going to happen. It didn't. I don't think that there is anything wrong with Pokemon X, I just didn't understand why I was playing it. It opens with you playing a kid and you mom telling you that you have picked to do Pokemon and essentially shoved you out the door. No narrative reason why the character was chosen, no story motivation, nothing more than a vague direction to go out into the world and be good at Pokemon fighting, erm because. I get the impression that this is roughly how all Pokemon games starts.