Category Archives: Video Gaming

Mario-D: Mario Kart collides with Formula D

I am an all around gamer, while it is true with video games I tend towards the PC I also love a variety of console games. One of which to have captured my heart the most over the years is the Mario Kart franchise, somehow managing to balance itself between insane quick paced all out fun and actually requiring a certain level of skill.

Then of course as my blog has tended more towards since I started it, there is the non-virtual. Board Games, War Games, Card Games the whole myriad of gaming that is available. One great gem of which is Formula D (watch it played on TableTop) a board game where you play a Formula 1 or Street racer and fill your need for speed.

My Love for both of these was solidified when my good friend from Trolls Den Terrain, Alun, started a pet project, combining the two!

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EQ2: My New Pet Rock

When in doubt it is back to EQ2 for me, as has been the case for the past few months, and with the release of the new expansion comes the addition of the new healer class the Channeller.

The channeller is essentially a ranger with a pet and the ability to heal, take your bow and shoot things and and get some utility off those bow shots. The heal mechanic for the channeller is also quite interesting, on top of a few as per usual direct heals you can set your pet to get in the way of the damage for either a single person, ie your tank, or the whole group. so your effectively healing as the damage is done. then your job is to heal this damage on your pet. for if he falls below 25% health he will stop protecting people.

One of the things I really like about the channeller pet over pre-existing pet classes is that you can customise the look of the pet, with quite a wide array of options. You get your basic layout and as you level up you get a few more. However you also get an ability that channels the essence of mobs you fight and this unlocks abilities and visual customisation options for your pet.

Below the fold is some spoilers about these essences and where to get them.

Continue reading EQ2: My New Pet Rock

Thank Diety I Packed My Towel!

So I asked for feedback on what people would like to read about, and the first response was asking for what I thought of FTL the hugely successful indie game from last year

So what is FTL? The official website describes it as…

FTL is a spaceship simulation roguelike-like. Its aim is to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy (like Firefly/Star Trek/BSG etc.) In any given episode of those classic shows, the captain is always yelling “Reroute power to shields!” or giving commands to the engineer now that their Warp Core is on fire.

Me, I say it is a prime example of how in this day and age you DON’T NEED million dollar budgets, HD cinematics or sound, or even a large team to create an engaging, high quality game that can be played again and again.

Continue reading Thank Diety I Packed My Towel!

What Next?

I have a variety of things that I have played for the first time since the beginning of my hiatus, what i would like to know is which would you like to have me write about?

  • FTL: Faster than Light – the small Indy pc game that is tiny in file-size yet huge on re-playability.
  • Zombicide – The boardgame from the zombie apocalypse
  • Settlers of Catan – with the 5-6 player expansion (Yes I know its a classic)
  • The Walking Dead – the episodic storytelling point and click
  • Storm of Shadows – the latest book in the Malifaux world

Let me know your thoughts, as it can only help to get pre-feedback

Aliens Vs Gangsters

It may sound like some bad parody movie, but today I want to talk about a couple of games I have been playing a fair amount of recently in between mass mining in Eve.

XCOM Enemy Unknown & Omerta City of Gangsters

They both fit into the same genre, that of a Meta-game “empire” building process with turn based combat missions. They are also both made by studios with a history of games where empire management is the key to the game.

XCOM being by Firaxis who are the guys responsible for what many will say is the finest series of Empire building games in gaming history, the Civilization franchise. Then you have Haemimont Games creators of Omerta and also the latest in the Tropico franchise as well as other titles like Imperium Romanum & Glory of the Roman Empire.

The thing that really surprised me off the bat is how given the history of being empire management game builders, One of the contestants today clearly wins the meta game and the other has more flaws in theirs but have created a very sound turn based system.

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See what I did with the picture?

First and foremost, no the new game is NOT related to the Star Trek franchise. The idea was toyed with before reaching the decision.

A couple of weeks a go I received a text message from a friend while I was at work, asking me to look at steam and its special offers, and if I fancied giving the game a go. Now this game has been around almost as long as electricity. I have looked at it several times and always came up on the side of “maybe later” or “not really digging it right now”, I don;t know if it indicates a change in my play direction, or if it was the ridiculously low price on steam, but I decided why the hell not lets give it a go.

I am now playing…

Continue reading See what I did with the picture?

Games that mould you into the gamer you are

There is a long list of games that will go down in history for many different reasons, be it the first to use some mechanic, the pinnacle of a genre or the game that completely revolutionises a genre. There are some, however, that I feel will go down in history as being games that help to shape you in your formative years in to the kind of gamer you will be for the rest of your life.

For my fiancée it was the Final Fantasy franchise, for my younger cousin it was the Sonic series. For me, one such game was SimCity. It also happens to be among the first of a series of games in which there was no way to “win” or “lose”, it simply was what it was; a virtual city which you ran for good or ill. Your task was to make the important decisions to shape the metropolis-to-be under your care.

There is no doubt in my mind that SimCity nurtured and grew my attraction towards empire management / “God” style games, I always have one in some format or another installed on my machine, and now the wonderful guys at Maxis are returning to the game they built their name on with a brand new SimCity.

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Music in gaming

I don’t think anyone out there will deny that music is a powerful tool to enhance gaming. Whether it be ambient music designed to draw you into the world in which you are playing, or carefully orchestrated scores aimed at heightening the storytelling of the game’s plot. Music makes a huge difference.

As such, I have always felt that the right music can make or break your gaming experience, and there are musical compositions out there which are iconic to the gaming industry. Within the first few notes these landmark audio gifts can transport you back to the hours you spent playing childhood favourites, or if you’re unlucky the piece can bring back the nightmares of a particularly bad time spent within a game.

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That boy got mad skills!!!

I was going to spend some time covering the latest out of E3 in this post. That was until I saw Kemwer’s Coverage. He has lined up a fantastic array of posts covering all from the unveiling of goodness from E3.

Over a series of posts, he puts into a very readable and easily accessible form all the videos you will want to watch to follow announcements of things you know about already and some for things you will want to know more about in the future as following:

From my look through it all, I would say the thing that caught my eye the most was Watch Dogs from Ubisoft, it looks like something I will enjoy thoroughly.

The way forward is back!

It seems to me that ever since the release of World of Warcraft back in 2004/05 it had almost immediate success; success that made the curing of small pox seem trivial. 99% of game houses out there have had one clear and common goal: be the WoW-killer.

I have two thoughts on this subject, the first is that there is only one game that can be the WoW-killer. Second is that being the WoW-killer shouldn’t be the goal, it shouldn’t even be a factor.

Continue reading The way forward is back!