Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dungeons: A Review

Dungeons seems to be remarkably similar to Notorious, the heroes are the source of the most deviation, as they actually die. The dungeon has a crystal heart and minions that you can assign tasks to and you place Gimmicks about rooms to change their function. You establish contracts with monsters and geolocate their spawn sites.

At first I jumped straight into the campaign but I was baffled as to what to do first so I had to resort to playing the tutorial. Your psyborg tries very hard to maintain her “Suspension of disbelief” and muses about what she might do next, she also talks to herself a lot and uses the royal “we”. I actually felt a little but sorry for her seeing as I broke her out of prison only to bend her will to mine. There is a goblin called Mr.Sidekick who reminds me when I am getting attacked, most of the time I didn’t know as I was busy building things elsewhere in the dungeon. Deo found it amusing that I was so absent minded as to need this prompt.

Unlike dancing, having completed the basic steps in the tutorial I feel like I have mastered the game, so now all I have left to do is follow the parody of lord of the rings and rinse and repeat the same game mechanics. In dancing though I suppose there is only one mechanic “move like you know what you are doing”. Once you find out how to do a particular set of dance steps and they mesh with your partner and the other people on the dancefloor; Then you can start work on improving your finesse and efficiency (everything I better with a high score list). But before that happens I get distracted by another dance, still the same mechanic but the steps are different or I have a new partner and they move differently.

I wonder if Notorious will be as complex as dancing? It’s not simple a scaled up version of Dungeons as there are several extra mechanics. Eg you have to establish contracts with minions as well as provide them a home. The whole rumor system. And you never totally control anybody, they may always do something unpredictable.

My first impressions have me continuing with the game, it’s nice that I can go to the loo without any adverse effects so I’ll probably play this one whilst I’m making tea, just like the sieges in M&B:Warband. I like Dungeons as a step along the way even though I think Notorious sounds a little too feature heavy to be able to pull off.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Skyzer the Skraeling

Skyzer the Skraeling, Playing Progress Quest there is a race called the Skraelings. I couldn't help but call that character Skyzer. Then I went to look for where the name came from. According to Wikipedia Skraelings are the people that the norse Vikings called barbarians. That is to say they are the barbarians, barbarians. Although they were happy to trade anything for milk & honey. That seems like a very biblical thing to do to me. Apparently 23 verses mention milk and honey, but none are in the 23rd psalm. 20 of those verses refer to “ A land flowing with milk and honey” the other three are SoS 4:11, 5:1 and Isaiah 7:22 these ones fit better with Skyzer I think. There would be no point in obtaining more milk and honey if there were already rivers of it flowing through your country.

So that makes Skyzer a barbaric savage who doesn’t own a goat, but I am a bit of a romantic fool and a mercenary when it comes to the finer things in life.

Recently I found Skyzer the Squire in Dungeon Defenders and once he picked up a katana I knew I had found my weapon, although I must say that mostly I've been upgrading the attack speed of my towers.
All in all this is a decent game for psizomijitsu, but its a bit disappointing that only 4 technomancers can play at any one time. There is DLC to double that but none of us have picked it up as yet. Ive already been playing as Anoikis, the healthy monk. Seems to me that i need two high level heroes to help my friends, one for towers and one for melee. and since Deo is talking to me that is all I will write now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Land Voyage - To the Mana bar!

So the plot goes something like this:

After packing totally casual clothes the Panda tells us that slacks are in order and all shirts should have collars. A little repacking was required, attire more suited to The Ship. On the road we started a video diary. But by Gympie the ipad was flatter than a crazy gods 3 week old bottle of Pepsi Max. Initially our auditory sensors were assaulted by a drone regarding assault. Soon enough we switched to another radio frequency and found a manly discourse on manliness at least that’s what he said, mostly it was about etiquette. But we did learn how to fold pocket squares and about Bar-Tits-U, the manly martial art. Eventually we cruised into a bunker and unloaded all out munitions. Then careened into Chinatown to look for crates and discarded noodle boxes. The noodles I found came in a bowl and ROFL managed to splash curry onto my manly berserker chest, at least he would have if he hadn’t donated a shirt to me earlier. Once we had all consumed our consumables we ambled onwards our final destination, the Manabar.

Really not what I expected at first. Overall it was a small pub. But after 9 it became cozy. I’m glad now that we arrived early and had a chance to scope the place our and look at all the games without sharing when we first arrived. The drinks were expensive but I wouldn’t have bought anything other than the mixed drinks as they fit the theme. The Health potion wasn’t pleasant at all but then again I suppose that makes it a health potion. One of the games appears to have been named after me, Guitar Hero was a little hard to hear but since the Beetles were playing I could sing along to most of the songs.

What happened at 9 to make it cozy? Well out the window I saw a sushi shop and was intrigued. Could I make this type of consumable? Would it restore my health in a more pleasant manner than the potion had? What is that in the window? Is it a train?

It was a train. Trains are cool, trains with food are even cooler.

After a while I was no longer intrigued, instead I was bamboozled. But trains with food are still cool. Then Panda's dad arrived and spoke of far of lands where it’s so primitive that they install wireless access points in trees. He made the food better.

More stuff about the pub... arrival of Revi and the nearly techodanceparty…

On Sunday Sam rose early to checkout the backpackers, when he was done we made way to the mall to meet a mountain of a man. Since the man mountain wore a manly tie and sold pocket squares I felt the need to buy a manly tie too. Then we found out why safety razors are more manly than unsafe razors. Our next quest was to find some manly hats, we needed a collection of various hats. But first we found comic books.

Later for lunch we retired in a romantic Irish tavern and reveled as RORL read from his rose petal book about the sensual effects of vampirism, at the time I was experiencing the same sensations. But for me the effect resulted from a ravishing blood pudding and pint of Kilkenny, really quite refreshing.

I nearly procured a top hat and sundowner but I was unsure if I had the correct faceshape to pull it off so I thought I'd await the Hattery, which we never found. Then it rained, I do believe that rain is not so good for felt hats, one wonders where one would wear a top hat, not in the rain, not inside, not while eating (except in a manly café outside).

Following that with more haste than speed we arrived too late to watch a Sherlock Holms movie, instead we started to watch the girl with the dragon tattoo. At the point in the movie where she gets raped I felt the need to leave, and Revi felt the need to follow me. We discussed the movie a little and felt that we were still in the into as nothing had really happened yet. As nothing plotwise had occurred we found we nolonger had the desire to return to the movie once the rape scene was over. So we went looking for a better movie and saw the start of the iron lady, seemed like a decent movie that I wasn’t really interested in. Although the filming was great and the way that they introduced the story was really interesting, dealing with Alzheimer’s I think.

Then we ended up with Sherlock Holms, and that’s a real manly movie, definitely worth watching. Me and Revi probably saw the middle hour of it. This movie really brought together ROFL’s read, it had everything from canes and umbrellas to polished shoes to pocket squares. Next it was onto church.

This was another scouting mission but a side quest, for bonus XP. I found myself on familiar ground, SNL was almost exactly the same as going to my Baptist church at Uni. Lots of singing complex songs a testimonial, sermon as a part of a theme, mostly uni people (harder to drive yourself to church when you don’t have a car) and a few faces that I recognized. As a reward for completing this quest we got a decent meal of pasta for a mere 3 Lucre.

Then came the saga, it was a long sleepy trek back to our respective normal habitats. Since we never really had a bossfight there must be more quests to come. Possibly out opponent bars the way into the Hattery?

The other Technomancers that made this sojourn possible were: Deo_the_Drunkard, VRBones, ¿Panda¿, Panda’s Dad, Revi Two Hands, ROFLHarris, ¿MountainMan¿ , Josh Levifriend and me, Raskalnickoff.

EDIT: Panda usually goes by the name Duffman although I've known him usually as Pandaburp. and I don't know MountainMan very well but rumor has it he goes by the tag Minimus Cumulus.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hydrophobia Prophesy: A Review

Hydrophobia Prophesy, after the intro I started looking for mods to remove the swearing. I did fine where the sound bytes were stored although VLC didn’t play them well. I removed about 20 files and felt pleased with myself. Initially I was going to replace them with a sound of Kate groaning as it could serve as a good analog, but not for that many files. Although even after that though the main characters still swear a lot. It’s not just taking the Lords name in vain; it’s also the repetitiveness of the so called “Colorful adjectives” that irritates me. People plagued by the word “Um” irritate me in the same manner. Sometimes I can live with it like Red Steal on the Wii, the first line of your girlfriend is “my god, you’re here” or something along those lines, so forever after that I was talking to the ingame characters and gently chided her for giving me the pet name of god. If it wasn’t for that I would never have called out all the sword moves as I did them, and that added a lot to the game. That said unlike Saints Row I am keeping with it and should probably see the tale through to the end.

My next gripe is that the MAVI idea is a great one that would have been better if all the UI was contained within it. As it stands there are a few things that glow on their own like a corpse that I needed to loot and exploding barrels, both of which broke my suspension of disbelief. Also its nice when a game doesn’t tell me that “W” will walk me forwards. The only game that I can think of that specifically doesn’t use “C” for crouch would be the rougelikes. Can there be a difficulty setting for “I have played a FPS before and I know how to configure the kemap” Then only the people who fail to understand get forced to sit through a tutorial. There is also the high score system, that would definitely work better if it was constrained to the NAVI at least in the first playthrough. Plus when you are looking through the MAVI at the world then bring up the overhead map you open another new MAVI over the top of the current one and it is slightly larger.

All the rest is good, It’s nice to not start a game with coming out of a coma. The water mechanics are nice, the confusing half in half out of the water works well in this game. While its frustrating to constantly lose vision as you go through the phase change of water-air-water it feels like it is supposed to do that.

I am wondering at this stage how my mate in the computer knows what I am doing. But his help is not invasive; it actually feels pretty cruisey that I don’t have to think for myself. Also after the first few checkpoints I found that while I am in a rush to not die I always die when I rush.

So it’s a nice immersive game. This also means that I need to play at nighttime to build up the atmosphere. And never run to quest objectives because then people stop talking mid-sentence, moving onto their next piece of dialog.

I also like the boob wobble, reminds me of anime. Although since I first noticed that I’ve been looking for other things that wobble and take advantage of the fluid dynamics system but I haven’t yet noticed anything yet. Maybe I will go through a cafeteria later that was serving jelly. I wonder if there will be oil on water mechanic too?

Ooo a sound gun, that sounds nifty, I suppose I’ll never have to reload it. I’ve yet to try it underwater. I saw somebody complain that there were no air bubbles under water but I don’t mind, with the overhead camera I’m sure they would always get in the road of what you are trying to see. I recently played a mermaid mod of CS Source and the most funest bit of that game was gaining speed and leaping out of the water, then hitting something on land with a wet slap. That game had a good mechanic for getting me to panic about suffocating on land, but here I feel too relaxed about the whole endeavor to be bothered by drowning.

Ah the balance mechanic is also interesting I had no idea what was happening at first as I never fell off anything. But now I know what it is about I’ll give it a go. Incidentally you lean forward when drawing the pistol and it seems I leant forward enough to be on a balance beam, but I cannot have a drawn weapon there so Kate stopped moving. Since I couldn’t do anything else after that I called it a night.

Overall thus far I’d say the game is ok in spite of the swearing and because of the swearing I don’t think I can recommend it.

Part 2:
Wow roughly 3 hours in before I am climbing into a vent. And I have vet to see a box/crate puzzle. Although I think the first instance or crate clutter was just after the elevator in the tutorial.

In one room the apparent exit was blocked with a shipping container and I thought “In real life those barrels could be used to float the container” then proceeded to explore every inch of the room looking for the way out. Eventually I resorted to using the map, then after a while of trying to squeeze through the gap I nearly gave up. Then I found out I could grab the floating barrels and swim down.


The water powers were cool when I eventually go them although I couldn’t find enough places to play with it. Throwing dynamite barrels is so much more effective than shooting them. Also you can throw people but I didn’t manage to throw one person at another. Also it takes a while but they do drown, they give of a greeny glow when you kill them.

The boss fight had me stumped, after a half dozen attempts I could get her 2/3 dead but then I always died from a tsunami of grenades. I even had to google a solution, I spoilt the fact that this was the only boss fight and found out that the boss was definitely 2/3 defeated. But now how to beat her?

It was simple really, don’t use cover. When you hide the boss throws grenades. All the other attacks you can move out of the road of.

That’s it then, all done and dusted. Apparently this is game 1/3 and they are still looking for player feedback. I like that It made me review the game and got me more interested. Although I’m not about to restart it and hunt for more collectables (I may have found them all but I don’t know). After my rant on swearing I didn’t really notice much more, so that was good. More brain scratching puzzles would have been good, and more combat to play with the water power. Also less chaos may make it better, or worse. Maybe just a faster graphics card to make the chaos smoother is all I needed in those explody electric flooded firefights. Jelly would be a nice addition and having the floor rock under you feet, maybe sway? Yes sway like a real boat. Having a boat rock sounds like it is beached or you are listening to the Beach Boys.