The Worlds of Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur Collide

11 01 2012

EA is doing something really creative this first quarter of 2012.  Starting out rather strong to be more precise.  EA is releasing demos for Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur that will unlock in game items across each games universe.  “What does that even mean?”  Glad you asked, EA is releasing the Kingdoms of Amalur demo on January 17.  When you complete the demo, that also means watching the trailer at the end, you will receive in game items for not only Kingdoms of Amalur, but also in game items for Mass Effect 3.

These in game promotions for Kingdoms include an ice resistance booster Twist of Fate Card, a health and mana boosting Twinned Souls Chakram weapon, and a protective helmet called The Infernal Helm.  And for your troubles, or enjoyment depending on how you like Kingdoms, your Mass Effect 3 awards include The Reckoner Knight Armor and the Chakram Launcher.

It doesn’t stop there, when the Mass Effect 3 demo does drop, EA has disclosed no information when that may be, completing that demo will also reward you with N7 Armor and Omniblade Daggers for Kingdoms of Amalur.  The Commander Shepard inspired N7 Armor looks bad ass with the accompanying  Omniblade Daggers.  Every piece of armor and weaponry look awesome and have useful perks that would be well worth a play through to get them.  The Mass Effect 3 Reckoner Knight Armor maximizes close-quarter damage and increases projectile velocity while the Chakram Launcher fires “lightweight explosive ammunition discs.

With rewards like these I will definitely be downloading each of these demos.  It really feels like free DLC or pre-order bonuses, they’re that good.  The Kingdoms of Amalur demo drops this January 17th and you can pick up the full game for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on February 7th.   Happy hunting.

Burke

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Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3? The Debate.

25 11 2011

 

 

 

 

Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3? 

For at least a year this will be the debate fanboys of every console will be yelling obscenities over defending their sacred title.  But I question, why does one have to be better than the other?  When friends ask me which one I play, I reply with “both”.  I own and play both on a regular basis.  I actually prefer Battlefield 3 because I enjoy large maps and vehicles.  I’ll drive the shit out of a tank and destroy everything, that’s what I like.  But I also like to hop onto MW3 and just mindlessly run and gun sometimes.  But what if you don’t have the luxury of owning both?  What about the gamer on a budget?  Well my friends, you’re in luck because I’m going to break down each games defining qualities to help with your decision before you hop on Santa’s lap and ask for one or the other this holiday season.  This guide is going to be incredibly simple and easy to follow, it’s based on what your likes and dislikes are.  Enjoy.

Battlefield 3

  • The single player runs approximately 8 hours and is based on a marine and his squad, different vehicles, and the majority of combat taking place in the dusty streets of Iran.

Multiplayer

  • Very large maps.
  • Popular game modes include: Team Deathmatch, Rush, and Conquest.  Hardcore modes are also available.
  • The rank cap is 45 with numerous guns to unlock.
  • 4 basic classes to choose from: Assault, Recon, Engineer and Support.
  • Each weapon has 10 attachments, and other weapons can only be unlocked successfully by beating the co-op missions.
  • Multiplayer is very squad based, requiring teamwork to be successful. 
  • Vehicles are in most modes (not in Team Deathmatch).  Tanks, choppers, Hum-V’s, jets, etc.
  • Co-op missions are available, experience transfers over to multiplayer, and it gives you an opportunity to practice flying…since it’s not easy.

I enjoyed BF3’s single player more than MW3, but I rarely play BF3 multiplayer alone since it’s so squad intensive.  The ranking system is very in depth and takes lots of play time to promote.  Each class levels up on it’s own, requiring you to spend individual time with each.  BF3 is a huge title that definitely gets you your moneys worth.   

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

  • The single player lasts a meager 5 1/2 hours and is filled with Michael Baysplosions and cinematic thrill rides.  The mediocre story holds back this titles full potential, but it’s still a positive and fun experience. 

Multiplayer

  • Small tight maps with plenty of bottle necks.
  • Popular modes include: Team Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Flag, Search and Destroy, Sabotage, and the fresh and new Kill Confirmed mode.
  • Level cap is 80 with 10 further prestige levels.
  • You can customize 5 loadouts with any weapon you would like.  Each weapon used unlocks special attachments and specializations.  Strike packages with each loadout are completely customizable and can be used to assist your teammates or make you look like a god.  You choose.
  • Multiplayer is very fast paced and requires quick twitch reflexes.  “Spray and pray” is also optional and proves to be successful quite often.
  • MW3 has other multiplayer options including Spec-ops and Survival modes.
  • The $50 Call of Duty: Elite service allows you to check stats and get multiplayer maps on a monthly basis.  (saving you about $15 a year)

MW3 is meant for those looking for instant gratification reinforced with nonstop action.  I play MW3 a majority of the time alone.  Games don’t require a lot of teamwork, and you can be very successful alone in many of the game’s modes.  MW3 keeps you reaching for that next level, or that one attachment you need for your favorite weapon.  Sledgehammer Games didn’t wander too far from the MW2 model, proving if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  MW3 does still have hacker problems, USB memory hacks and exploited connection issues are still a factor so tread lightly.

When you tell Santa which one you want, be sure to tell him Nerd Farm helped you choose.  We’re actually tying to not get coal this year…

nerdfarm  

  





Uber Devs Hard at Work.

22 11 2011

The developers at Uber Entertainment in the beautiful city of Kirkland, WA spoke with arstechnica.com about their ongoing beta process for Super Monday Night Combat.  You can read their full article here .  In summary the article speaks of their free-to-play model, continuous updates, beta process and balancing gameplay mechanics.  Most of the article made me question how SMNC is going to come to XBLA or PSN with their free-to-play model.  Especially when the main objective is to provide a game with frequent and ongoing updates.  This is all fine and dandy for Steam, but I know this a little more difficult with Microsoft.  I just hope this game comes out on XBLA or PSN, since as of right now it’s not looking too promising. 

You can sign up for the beta at Uber’s official site

Nerdfarm

Further previews of SMNC can be found here at Nerdfarmblog.





There be dragons afoot (and a troll in the dungeon…I thought you should know)

15 11 2011

For the last nearly 5 days straight, I have not been able to get enough of this game. The biggest and best in the franchise yet, Skyrim offers a lot of enjoyment for all fans of the RPG genre. With all the requisite monsters you expect, hordes of bandits, throngs of undead and a dragon scattered here and there, if you like RPGs this is one you won’t want to miss. I mean come on! How many other games offer 9+ races and near infinite questing?!

Mace to face, canine vermin!

As far as combat is concerned, you have 2 main roads to pick from: Weapons or Magic. Within Weapons you will find all the nasty brain bashers that were made famous throughout the darkages. If you fancy swords and shields, you’re covered. What’s that? Two-handed weapons you say? We got 3 flavors: Axe, Mace or Great Sword. Dual wield was implemented in this installment, but it seems kinda “tagged on” and rather unwieldy. Personally, I prefer skulking about in the shadows, so I played with a bow the entire game, although I must admit I had a feeling of great disappointment when I neglected to find any crossbows in the entire game….who knows maybe I will get hooked up in the DLC. Along with your weapons, you may also augment them with the all new crafting system which allows improvements to gear and weapons, or if you are inclined like myself, you will enjoy adding poison to your weapons for added effects.  The new way magic works is top notch in my opinion. It essentially allows a mage to dual wield spells if you will, in that I can equip a healing spell in my left hand and a combat spell in the right, or dual combat spells, or mix and match from the gigantic library of spells the game has to offer.

3 to 1, paltry odds for any free Greek!

During the course of the game, your character levels up based on the skills you use and improving those skills, so Bethesda allows the player to progress the game on their own accord. If you like to be a hero, you can be the knight in shining armor, or on the flip side of that, my Argonian Assassin has crippled empires and brought kings to their graves. You play Skyrim on YOUR terms. And as you adventure through the land, you can also learn special dragon “Shouts” or the language of the dragons and augment your character with HUGE attacks: Spit fire balls, breath frost, slow time or slam enemies with unrelenting force.

I’ve spent nearly 20 hours playing and haven’t even discovered HALF of the quests in the game, I expect big things from Bethesda on this outing, if Fallout: New Vegas means anything, Skyrim fans should have the next years worth of DLC to look forward too.

And if you’re actively playing Skyrim and reading this page, drop me a line! Let me know what you play, how you play, how many shouts you’ve unlocked or anything else you think is pertinent!

Srsbizniz





The Legend of Batman: Arkham City

29 10 2011

Why Batman: Arkham City is destined to be a classic.  The reason for this statement dates back all the way to the 8-bit Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda.  The similarities of what made these two titles great are almost uncanny.  It has nothing to do with cutting edge graphics or ground breaking mechanics.  Legend of Zelda was a top down RPG and Batman, powered by the Unreal engine, has a very familiar style of play that most “gamers” are accustomed to.  What Zelda did, and Batman is doing now, is giving gamers something to talk about again. 

 I remember playing Legend of Zelda as a kid, finding out a secret, then losing sleep on the anticipation of telling my classmates about my adventures.  I’d run to class and everyone who had Zelda would talk about where they were in the story, what they had found, and give away secrets that they discovered.  “Did you know you could light that bush on fire with the candle?”, “Blow up this boulder with the bomb.” and “Make sure you only move that grave!”.  All of those and many more stand steadfast in my mind, and without the internet everyone was dependant on this word of mouth or the few publications that were then on the market.  So that’s where Batman: Arkham City comes in, since Zelda I have never had a game that invoked so much conversation with other people.  Batman is so engrossing, searching the internet for many of the puzzles can be time consuming and tedious.  But I also don’t want to search the interwebs, I want to talk to other people, tell them what I’ve accomplished, and listen to things that they’ve also done themselves.  Statements like,”Where did you find Deadshot’s second victim?”, “How did you solve that Riddler puzzle?”, and “You can find Batmans gadget in the steel mill.” bring me back to my school age days, talking about games I love.  And the funny thing is, people actually want to interact and listen because they’re having these same fun experiences.  Batman: Arkham City has pulled from a successful formula that’s survived for 24 years.  A large world to explore, people to save, gadgets to use, bosses to battle, and numerous problems to solve is a proven recipe for success.  It’s for those reason’s that Batman: Arkham City, like the Legend of Zelda, will go down as a gaming staple, and has proven itself an instant classic.

nerdfarm





RAGE Proves Timing is Everything

15 10 2011

Rage Review

Let me begin by saying id has made a gigantic game.  Gigantic.  Three discs on Xbox 360 and 7.8 GB hard drive usage on PS3.  I threw the game in and waited 20 minutes for the damn thing to completely load.  What ever happened to the days where I rushed home after buying a game, put it in the system and just started playing?  Every game now makes me immediately download an update or requires updating trophy data.  But now that rants over and on to the meat and potatoes of id‘s long time coming post apocalyptic wasteland epic.

An August 2009 issue of Game Informer sits in my bathroom with many of it’s back issue brethren, I know this because I’ve looked at it often.  Not until RAGE was released this month did I realize it’s been 3 years since it’s announcement.  In that same issue Borderlands, Mass Effect 2, Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed II, Heavy Rain, God of War III, Left 4 Dead 2, BioShock 2, Alan Wake, and The Last Guardian were all previewed as upcoming games, and all of them, with the exception of The Last Guardian have been released, had huge success, and are even moving onto the next titles in their respective series.  So what took id so long?  Well, the short answer, making a huge system challenging FPS.  RAGE has the most impressive graphics I’ve seen in any game to date.  Every character has their own look, their own design, they follow you when they chat with you, and they rarely have the same thing to say when you converse with them.  The voice acting is superb and the facial animations are spot on, allowing you to see and hear the characters emotions you’re interacting with.  Enemies chat amongst themselves, talk to each other during combat, dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge to avoid incoming fire.  The wasteland is large and extremely detailed, it’s so detailed in fact that it almost seems too clean to be a post apocalyptic wasteland.  But sadly almost none of that matters because even with it’s superior graphics, the areas just seem…dated and done before.  Rightfully so I guess, Fallout and Borderlands have both done “this wasteland”, and they did it well, I’ve traveled it many times.  And RAGE’s huge wasteland is a little exaggerated, the detailed cliffs and hills you see on the horizon are nothing but a facade, you’re still driving from point to point with little to no exploration in between.

Your travels through the wasteland take you to two large cities and multiple “dungeon” type hideouts.  My immediate thoughts upon arriving in Wellsprings was “Firefly anyone?”, and Subway Town looks straight out of the live action Mario Bros. film or to be generous, an underground Bladerunner.  Why does every techno post apocalyptic wasteland have to use the same music and color palette?  Traveling to the same hideout for different missions became drab and repetitive, which was dissappointing considering each level was incredibly detailed and had massive potential of being something greater.  Even the Authorities Capital Prime felt cramped and rushed.  Don’t let the repetitive nature of some hideouts discourage you from exploring, each level is still interesting and well thought out.

The gameplay in RAGE is polished and solid.  id knows how to do first person shooters, and RAGE is no exception.  Moving around feels a little too smooth but the realistic head bob is a nice addition and makes you feel like you’re floating a little less.  Firing the range of weapons, which aren’t many, manage to feel real in your hands.  They have bearable recoil and each serve a purpose for certain enemies.  You can buy upgrades and ammo for weapons from vendors in towns, although ammo for most weapons are abundant as long as you’re looting bodies in the wasteland.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the melee attack, it was under powered and didn’t feel like a natural fluid motion.  I did enjoy the generic 1970’s grindhouse karate flick sound effect though.  A lot of the weapons feel under powered actually, enemies take way too much damage, even well placed head shots don’t seem to chip away much hp.  The Gearheads and Authority troops were notorious for taking ridiculous amounts of damage, usually absorbing a third of a clip before meeting their demise.  The menus in RAGE are similar to Fallout 3’s Pip-Boy, you “flip” between each page scrolling through quest progression, building helpful gadgets, assigning weapon slots, and checking items in your inventory.  The mandatory “flipping” between pages can be slow at times, making navigating through the menus annoying since you’re in them often.  I thought RAGE did make creating items in the game really simple though, the recipes are easily accessible and not difficult to remember.  It’s even easier since all the recipes and number of items you can create are always right in front of you.

Besides combat on foot, you also spend a lot of time in combat while driving.  This isn’t a racing game, although you do technically race, RAGE is heavier on the FPS aspect, but racing is an integral part of the title that needs to be critiqued.  The driving mechanics are solid making piloting the vehicles simple and fun.  The vehicles do feel very light though, adopting the same “floating” feeling as on foot.  This makes pushing bandit vehicles easy, often making them roll right over the top of you during races and in combat.  You can only upgrade your rides with racing certificates that you receive for winning races.  The generic races are a blast, but the Rally Point races random Feltrite drop was obnoxious and ultimately lead to me hating that race mode.  The races aren’t mandatory so this inconvenience was easy to avoid.  To avoid constant repairs on your vehicle it is highly suggested to upgrade your vehicle to the max before feeding yourself to the proverbial wolves of the wasteland.  There is no traditional Deathmatch in RAGE, all the multiplayer is done with vehicle combat, so if you want to succeed in multiplayer, you’ll need to become very familiar with your vehicle.

It took me around 12 hours to finally finish RAGE.  I spent a lot of my time racing, doing side jobs, and exploring.  As small as the wasteland is, I still managed to find numerous things to accomplish.  RAGE flows as smoothly as you walk, and I was very surprised when I saw the 12 hour mark on my save file because it really didn’t feel like it.  What RAGE lacked in an abundant wasteland, it gained through narration and strong story progression.  I understood where I came from, I understood what I was fighting for, and I understood who I was fighting for.  But RAGE still felt unfinished when I saw the credits roll.  Is there more?  id essentially created the FPS genre, but I feel the days of the silent protagonists are coming to an end, and id has proven that releasing a game at the right moment is key.  The boat was almost missed.

RAGE scores an A-.

nerdfarm

 





Dino D-Day: The “D” is for disappointment.

12 10 2011

Given that this is my first blog on here, I figured I should post about my most recent experience.  Dino D-day, which I purchased for $10 on Steam, had me thinking I would soon be playing what amounts to Team Fortress 2 with dinosaurs. Although this isn’t far from the truth, the game falls so short from the goal.

For starters, lets focus on the good parts: Decent albeit dated graphics, dinosaurs killing the stereotypical FPS classes and a T-rex with mounted machine gun. That’s about it.

The bad:  Shit terrible controls, quirky melee combat that is completely under powered, absence of a tutorial or even single player mode, and unimpressive level goals with no real idea what’s going on till the game ends.I went into the game with high hopes, even tried to overlook the flaws because of the content but this game drives you to the edge of madness then blissfully throws you over the edge. Add to this the game features dedicated servers (all of about 20 total) I found 8 people playing…which dwindled to 3 in about 1 hour.

All in all, I am sure the game could be saved with an update adding bots or single player mode….I doubt this will happen. In closing all I can say is this game is beyond a rip off at $10. Hopefully the devs will learn from this outing and deliver something of higher quality next time.

Srsbizniz