Showing posts from November, 2007

Those dusty virtual tights: Why it's City of Heroes for me

Despite having some very good reasons to put City of Heroes down, the studio formerly known as Cryptic Studios has once again dragged $15 from my tiny student stipend. I've already logged 880 hours in the game and I'm honestly not sure what I expect to find. However, it was nonetheless a pretty easy decision with the criteria I had to deal with.

The choice of a new MMORPG to play has become easier since I came to realize that most MMORPGs aren't for me. I usually at least give them a try because they're an MMORPG and the idea of having thousands of players in the same game world with you is awesome. However, most often than not, I usually discover an EverQuest clone. So many MMORPGs emulate EverQuest that it's as though Firiona Vie is some kind of wall infestation found near server farms.

If you still like EverQuest-like games then you've nothing to worry about. I recommend EverQuest 2, the only modern MMORPG that can legally wear their Firiona Vie on the…

Mass Effect Review / Planetside Improvements

3am: tired, yet not tired enough. I blame residual caffeine. Fine. I've things to say. First, about the game that's taken up my last few days, Mass Effect. Second, about a game that looks pretty washed up but I came up with some interesting ideas for it, Planetside.  In my sleepy-yet-not state, my typical apprehension has left me, all that remains is pure thought and emotion.

Mass Effect

First off, Mass Effect (XBox 360) is pretty awesome. I've always been a sucker for the space exploration-type game: Elite series, StarFlight series, Star Control 2, ect. Mass Effect barely resembles them... it's more like a popular BioWare game in that it focuses mostly on the story punctuated by combat (as though this guy hasn't changed his approach much since Baldur's Gate.)

To put at it another way, Mass Effect takes reasonably emulated combat from Gears of War (which involves a lot of running behind cover and shooting things from a third person perspective) and merges…

Innovation Stagnation

Here in the United States, we believe that by providing monetary incentive (for example through protection of Intellectual Property) we can bring about innovation. However, this ideal seems to have been undermined by those at the top who are afraid of competition.

For example, computer games. If I were to sit down and code a computer game myself, it would not have some of the things that a big-name game does. However, this in itself would not neccessarily make it a bad game, it just wouldn't have a bunch of technically advanced features. That's fine, to the discerning gamer it's not really a matter of being impressed with gee-whiz graphics or physics, it's a matter of new and entertaining game mechanics.

I can only comment from an individual's perspective. For me, the trouble is that even if I were to create a fabulous game, barely anyone's going to hear of it. In the recommended reading section of my Blog is currently a link to an excellent independant g…

Hellgate London / Tabula Rasa / Crysis

The holiday season for 2007 is heating up with a surprising number of quality titles out there. For the most part, I'm glad I heeded some advice and picked up Gamefly. By having an ungodly ever-ready supply of all but the most extremely hard-to-find games available, it's pretty much legally eliminated the need for me to ever buy another console game. The PC, however, is another story.

Tabula Rasa and Hellgate: London came out on pretty much simultaneously, and caused much great gnashing of teeth amongst players about which to buy. However, there's really no comparison between the two.

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa means, "Clean Slate", but first impressions would seem to indicate otherwise. There's still experience bars and levels. There's still quests and killing critters. There's still loot and trade skills. Basically, Tabula Rasa is a MMORPG, a genre focused on a virtual world and your persona's painstaking acquisition of virtual power within it.…