Monday, June 14, 2004

A little bit of retro

Today I have spent a large amount time playing two games I find myself enjoying. One of those is the usual Unreal Tournament 2004. Until I got my awesome computer, I never really saw just how good this game can look. I remembered today when I played for the first time in many weeks. This game looks good, plays good, and most all aspects of the game are good. It is a solid piece of work and I would recommened it to anyone interested in first person shooters. The Onslaught mode also is very good for fans of Battlefield 1942 and Halo. Brings a good mix of both games that makes for a solid play time. Online I haven't experience much, as my moms computer, which has cable internet and only 254 megs of RAM, isn't very good with the high end games.

The other game I've played a lot of, is Blizzards down home game Diablo 2. Been a while since you've heard that name I can assume. Diablo 2 is an older game, but still a fun one. Graphics are ok for a 2D top down RPG. I have to say, playing as a necromancer is very easy. Every major confrontation usually involves me simply whipping out a few skeletons and letting them join my mercenary in hacking away at the various goblins and zombies we encounter, as well as the occasional group of evil rogues, while I send a few of my magic missile teeth thingies into the mix. I am curious, though, I'm on the 6th or 7th quest now (going for the hammer in the old monestary) and I've only met 3 male characters other my own character. Every other NPC and monster in the game is odly female.

My only real complaint about Diablo 2, besides the slipshod working of Battle.net, is the fact that there is no character customization whatsoever, besides putting on armor. If you want to be a good spellcaster, you can only play as a red haired woman in a green robe, you cant be a male sorcerer or a female necromancer. Apparently such things are unheard of in the darkened realms about Tristram. Which brings me to another cool part about the game. There are many references to the original Diablo. For one you have to search out and rescue Cain, the Sean Connery voiced old man who gave you a crapload of advice in the original game. of course, do to this means you have to travel back to Tristram, which was city all events in the original game took place in. Traveling back there was odd, it seemed only kind of familiar, most of the landmarks such as the hole leading to the bowels of hell and the other places were gone. The few buildings remaining were charred to the ground or burning. And the cathedreal where you spent countless hours ridding of evil is just gone, nothing but a few sorted piles of bricks and wood. One thing that struck me odd is that Griswold, who I believe to be the blacksmith from the original game, was still in the city and was a bad guy. Although it struck me odd, I had no qualms in sending my 3 skeletons to cut him to size as I freed Cain.

Another reference I have found is from Cain, who explains what happened to the character you played as in the original. Apparently after destroying Diablo and returning to the surface, Tristram partied for days on end. Slowly, day by day, the hero grew more depressed and alone, on many occasions waking screaming in the night crying "the east." Eventually one day he/she just up and left Tristram. Cain believes the hero was possesed by Diablos evil and wanders the countryside, which confirms the opening cinema to Diablo II in which a robed figure with a large sword enters a tavern, but then is surrounded in an evil aura and inadvertainly unleashes flaming skeletons and other assorted baddies onto the town. And just as quietly as he entered he left the town.

Sorry of this post is a bit biased to those who haven't played the games before, but reall, how many people read this thing anyway?

P.S. I got a headset with a mic so that I can voice chat to people on Counter-Strike and other such games. Typing and battling evil terrorists is just too risky and time consuming, plus theres nothing more fun than shouting random profanities over voice chat to your team, thouroughly distracting them and giving you quite the laughs....

Drakk Out...

Friday, June 11, 2004

Catching up

Yes, I am late, I know. I've been doing stuff.

If you haven't noticed by now, the Blog has a new look to it. Basic stuff, I have no html or whatever skills at all so I picked one of the premade looks. I like it though. I have been playing a lot of Counter-Strike lately. It's amazing how popular the game is despite begin over 5 years old. It is fun, when I'm not dying withint 30 seconds of the round starting. I can say that the game will only be even more fun on the Source Engine.

This is definately the year of MMORPGS, what with the impending releases of such games as Everquest 2, World of Warcraft, and The Matrix Online. Having played the original Everquest for quite some time now, I can say I have been looking into it a lot. As for World of Warcraft, everybody seems to love it, but I haven't looked into the game all that much. I have never even seen the Matrix movies, but I know enough to get around, so the game does look ok...Let us take a closer look..

Everquest 2: The game looks good, straight down. The graphics they're using for this game blow me away, in some cases. The objects look real, the characters are well done, etc. They've done a good job in the looks department. Watching videos from E3 cannot give me a good hear at the sounds, but I guess they should be decent, hopefully in the new voice department, as NPCs in this game now have voices. Another new aspect is that they've greatly progressed the game world, Norrath. The main continent from the original Everquest, Antonica, has been split by the battles of good and evil. The left half of the continent is home to the good people, capital of Qeynos. The right half consists of the evil people, in the city of Freeport. So far they have only shown the continent of Antonica, and make no reference at all as to what happened to the hundreds of other areas in the game that seem to have mysteriously vanished from the face the planet. They're also including things like branching skill trees, transportation, and player/guild housing. I did in fact sign up for the Everquest II beta, but so far I have heard neither hide nor hair from SOE.

The Matrix Online: This is the one I've had my mind on today. The game is, as the other 3 mentioned today, a MMORPG. Set after the events of the third in the movie trilogy, the game consists of the Zion, the humans who want to escape the Matrix, and the Machines, those who want the humans to stay within the Matrix. Apparently you will be able to choose sides and take missions for either faction, and opposing players or groups can try to stop you from fulfilling said missions. Another interesting factor is the skills. Apparently in the Matrix, you can just "download" information into your mind and instantly know it, explaining why Neo would be such a good fighter right off the bat. In the game your character will be able to do that same thing, and will have a limited amount of space to put abilities that you can drop or replace at any time. It also seems that clothes will actually be important to your character (and not just for the basic reasons). Apparently when you start out your limited to cheap t-shirts and jeans and such, and as your character progresses they can obtain the flowing black leather clothes and shades the character in the movies wore so much.

I have seen a few videos of the game in action, and from what I see so far, the game looks OK. The combat is odd though. They describe it as a kind of Rock, Paper, Scissors action. You and your opponent select the skills you will use as the fight goes on, and the more powerful or strategic skill will prevail against the other. The footage of the combat in the game appeared jerky and not very immersive, stuff like hands not connecting to faces yet the punch still happens. I do admit that using a series of punches to knock your opponent into the air and then doing a spinning midair kick to send them flying into a wall is pretty cool looking. It does appear the world is interactive. A character thrown into a wall will hit it and bounce, not just stop flying at the moment the wall begins. Also one very brief moment in a video showed a character getting thrown through the air and into one of their friends, knocking the friend down as well. So collisions in this game seem to be working well. I would like to point out that game isn't even in beta yet, so the combat problems I saw will most likely be worked out before release. I also signed up to beta test this game, but again I have gotten no response.

Thats enough typing for me tonight, I have never seen World of Warcraft and thusly I am not going to make a post about it just yet. Maybe someday, somehow......