Archive for 2011

WoW Icon 12 Days of Christmas – World of Warcraft vs SWTOR

It’s the first day of Christmas! Did you get what you wanted? Will you be spending the day playing World of Warcraft or have you been tempted away by Star Wars? Either way, I think you’ll enjoy this video.

“BlizzBlues, the greatest World of Warcraft machinima of all time, teams up with Bioware’s much anticipated MMORPG Star Wars The Old Republic for a Christmas song you will never forget.”

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Ant Crusher Winning Tactics

This bearded dragon playing Ant Crusher has been shared all over this past week:

but it is this African bull frog who really wins the game:

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2012

It’s the end of another year and what a wonderful year it has been for gaming. From another epic Elder Scrolls adventure, the latest instalment to the Zelda series, Batman’s adventures in Arkham City, the rise and fall of Deathwing to the release of the new Star Wars MMORPG we’ve been truly spoiled for choice in 2011.

So, what have we got for next year? 2012 looks like it will be a fast-paced, epic crusade as the game makers fight it out to spoil our imaginations with a flurry of new games. Here is MMORPG Info‘s lookout list for 2012.

Number 10

[More...]

Posted by Yaznee on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Christmas Distractions – Free Games in your Browser

Once again we bring you the best in browser games for the season, to help you while away the hours until the roast is ready for carving. Some of these are games in their own right, others are special Christmas editions of well-known games.

Merry Christmas from MMORPG-Info!

Each of the thumbnails links directly to the game.

Thin Ice

Christmas Zombies

Infectonator Christmas Edition

Learn to Fly

Winterbells

Civiballs: Xmas Levels

Polar pwnd 2

Colour My Fate

Gingerbread Circus 2

Factory Balls Christmas Edition

All of them are at least briefly amusing – well, I thought so, anyway. If you believe I’ve missed a great (free) Winter or Christmas-themed browser game, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Roxio Game Capture Review

I was excited when I was offered a chance to test the Roxio Game Capture device for making videos from consoles.

The Roxio works with both X-box and PS3 consoles and will record your game for easy editing and quick uploads.

The hardware connects the video and stereo from the console and the television to a PC using USB. [More...]

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Can You Crack This?

This is the most interesting “game” that has come my way this week. I’m not even sure it IS a game. All I have right now a cyber code challenge of what is apparently part one: a secret message that needs to be cracked in order to get to the next stage, with a promise that at the end, I’ll understand what is going on.

Can You Crack It?

Seriously. This is a sponsored post where the sponsors don’t want me to know who they are.

Crack the code and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a plot that you never expected – and an entry into a different world. A world where tenacity and a questioning mind is worth more than book learning. A world only available to the best.

If you think you are at the top of your game, then stop playing games. Here’s your chance in the real world: crack this code and prove it.

Yeah, I know, it sounds like something out of Secret World. We’ve all seen the viral campaigns where you spend five minutes on some simple puzzle and find the obvious answer and then get an advertisement for a game as a reward.

But this isn’t a five-minute puzzle. Take a look:

I’ll admit it, I think it’s out of my league. But I’m dying to work out what this is all about.

It’s not ASCII, in fact my first thought is that it’s executable code. I’m on the iPad at the moment, so I can’t prove it but if you can make sense of this, leave a comment and let me know.

(Full disclosure: yes, this is a Sponsored Post but by far the most intriguing I’ve ever had.)

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Skyrim

Sadly, I don’t have the original source for this graphic. If you know who created it, let me know.


Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo Gears of War 3, X-Men: Destiny, Ico HD, Shadow of the Colossus HD, Rage, Dead Rising 2: OtR and Batman: Arkham City

We’re heading towards the end of the year and the game releases just keep on coming. Luckily we have Wukung to give us the low-down on the new releases!

Don’t miss the games Wukung has already reviewed this year, including Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Dead Space 2, Kill Zone 3, Little Big Planet 2, Deathsmiles, Bulletstorm, Dragon Age 2, Duodecim, Crysis 2, Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection, Razer Onza, Alice: Madness Returns, Yakuza 4, LA Noire, No More Heroes, Duke Nukem Forever and Infamous 2 and Renegade Ops, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Blood Rayne: Betrayal, Catherine, Arcana Hearts 3

You can see the full list exclusively on MMORPG Info » Wukung’s Reviews.


Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)

Gears of War 3 is the finale to Microsoft’s “other” flagship shooter franchise. The changes to the game now reward – in fact they demand – remaining mobile in combat. In previous games in the series, the best strategy was often to stick to one covered position as much as possible. The campaign is well written, with well-paced gameplay. As is usual for the Gears of War games, there are a lot of set pieces but they flow more naturally into the game than before. As well as team death-match, there are some pure co-operative options for multiplayer. The campaign has four player co-op and Gears 2′s much copied horde mode returns with some major overhauls.

The visuals are still great but they don’t wow in the same way Gears 2 did for being so far ahead of the curve. The story closes off the trilogy and not only adds more depth, but also features a burly cast of characters that is no longer exclusively male.

While a wide array of tweaks add up to an improved game both in single and multi player. Unfortunately there are no real surprises and little that is new. However, true to the series form Gears of War 3 is a well crafted game that stands as a new high water mark for cover shooters.

9/10

X-Men: Destiny (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS)

RPG/Brawler cash in on the comic book franchise. This game boasts dull repetitive combat, a poor story, meaningless choices and underwhelming visuals. Rather than playing as one of the many well known X-Men characters, you get to pick one of three new characters, whose mutant powers seem to include being an impossibly generic stereotype. The character that you pick changes some dialogue but has no real impact on the story. Power use is a fairly limited resource, leaving you stuck with the mindless combat most of the time. While combat is rarely challenging, some enemies and bosses can rapidly deliver cheap deaths, a problem compounded by incredibly bad checkpoint placement and tedious unskippable cutscenes.

Character customisation gives you a fair bit of choice in how to set up your secondary abilities. That is perhaps the only positive aspect of an outright awful game. If you were hoping for a game that lives up to the likes of the X-Men: Legends series you will be greatly disappointed.

3/10

Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection (PS3)

An HD upgraded version of two of the best PS2 games. Both of the games in this collection are utterly fantastic and still thoroughly worth playing.

Ico even as a fairly early PS2 game looks good but certainly not on par with the upgraded version of Shadow of the Colossus. It is one of the best examples of the unique potential for story telling in video games and remains in many ways unsurpassed for that even now nearly ten years from its original release. Its gameplay offers little which modern games haven’t done better but remains enjoyable. Ico was and is a beautifully crafted adventure.

Shadow of the Colossus benefits greatly in this version. The original version had quite possibly the best visuals of any PS2 game but that came at the expense of some frequent and severe frame rate dips. This time around it has a silky-smooth frame rate. The visuals are no longer cutting edge but they are still appealing and put to shame some current games. The gameplay shines through as unique and compelling despite some minor control issues.

The Ico collection is an example of how HD collections should be, not only giving the chance to play classics but taking the opportunity to improve the experience with smoother performance. If you played either of these games before you should need little convincing but they are both worth revisiting. If you have never played them then this is the perfect opportunity.

9/10

Rage (Xbox 360, PS3 (played), PC)

Long in development, this is a post-apocalyptic wasteland-wandering shooter/driving game from the makers of Doom. The two hub areas are not particularly large and seem to be primarily a back drop for other quests. The tasks which do use the hubs are one of the games weakest areas, consisting largely of courier quests: at one stage between the same two locations several times in a row. Self-contained, linear areas which focus on the shooter aspect are where the real gameplay is. With bullet sponge enemies, dull AI, poor and often outright misleading visual feedback, those shooting mechanics don’t hold up especially well.

The weapon switching deserves special mention for being particularly bad: the quick switching is fiddly, doesn’t pause the action and doesn’t reliably select the weapon you meant to. The alternative is to pause the game and use a clunky menu system which takes you out of the action. There are few automated check points, instead relying on manually saving which can be frustrating, especially as save times are not especially quick. My play through, doing all the side content I could find, came to about 16 hours: a reasonable length but taking into account the amount of filler, not a particularly big game.

The driving is a fun distraction and Rage’s much talked up technology produces some great visuals with solid performance despite major texture pop in issues (The other versions of the game suffer less from this issue). Crafting and special ammo give you a lot of options in play style. Rage isn’t really an open world game like Fallout 3 leaving it inhabiting the very crowded shooter market. Weak shooting mechanics mean it doesn’t stand out from the crowd despite its unique features.

7/10

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (Xbox 360 (played), PS3, PC)

Off the record is an odd remix of last years zombie playground game Dead Rising 2 featuring more or less the same campaign but with the first game’s protagonist Frank West as the main character. Some missions are nearly identical with only minor changes but other parts feature some more drastic changes. There are some minor additions including a new area, some new items, combo weapons and a few tweaks to Fortune City such as changing locations of some particularly useful items. Off the Record also brings a new sandbox mode letting you explore the environment, complete challenges and rack up cash and experience for the campaign. Other tweaks include improved load times, a checkpoint system and setting active mission from a paused menus. While very welcome and definite improvements, they were poor omissions in the original Dead Rising 2. The difficulty of bosses seems to have been increased by giving them ridiculously short recovery times which is not entirely a change for the better. The moderately dreadful competitive multiplayer from Dead Rising 2 is omitted this time around but co-op remains.

Off the Record is very much a remix of Dead Rising 2 rather than a whole new game and it suffers from the same strength and weaknesses. With its budget price tag, it seems targeted both at new players and fans of the series, although the original version is in some ways a better entry point and was already available in a budget edition. If you played Dead Rising 2 and the idea of playing more or less the same game again is not appealing then there is nothing here for you. Still, I found Dead Rising’s mixture of zombies and insane weapons a lot of fun.

8/10

Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360 (played), PS3, PC in November)

This sequel to Arkham Asylum expands the action into a section of Gotham City that has been turned into a super-prison. Arkham City itself is not an especially big sandbox but adds a much more open feel to the game, making it easy to get lost in the wealth of side content. Navigating the city is mostly handled by a combination of grappling and a much improved gliding system.

The freeflow combat system returns, although none of the additions made feel like a significant improvement. In contrast, the new tools available for the invisible predator sections add some interesting new options and the few gadgets missing this time around aren’t really missed as a result. Catwoman “episodes” are included as a downloadable extra with a code included in all new copies. These take place throughout the story and give a change of pace with some unique game mechanics. A respectably lengthy campaign, including a wealth of side content as well as a wealth of challenge maps focusing on freeflow combat and invisible predator gameplay add up to a very respectable lifespan.

Arkham City uses a much wider selection of Batman’s rogues gallery than the previous game, almost all realised in a way which fits perfectly with this distinct version of Batman, though yet again it’s the Joker who steals the show. The story is pitch-perfect, delivering some of the finest moments in Batman’s long history in any medium. This is helped by great performances from the cast, particularly long-time Batman and Joker voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill who both deliver their finest performances in their roles.

From start to finish, Arkham City is masterfully executed. It’s not just the plot and presentation that makes this one of the best representations of an iconic character. Moving through the city, watching groups of thugs and planning how to utilise the wide arsenal of gadgets available perfectly captures the essence of what has made Batman an incredibly popular and enduring character, in a way not possible in any other medium. But even more important than being a great representation of Batman, Arkham City is an exceptionally great game.

10/10

Posted by Wukung on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

MMORPG Info Logo It’s Music, Jim, But Not as We Know It

It was initially the video of William Shatner “singing” Iron Man in a sound studio that made me aware that my life was about to change forever. But honestly, I still didn’t realise what was to come.

SF Signal: William Shatner’s New Concept Album of Space Jams

I like William Shatner and David Bowie for two very different reasons. So it is with mixed emotions that I bring you word of Shatner’s rendition of Bowie’s “A Space Oddity” on a new concept album called Seeking Major Tom.

Part of me is crying with joy. The other part is just crying.

Other songs on the album (available on Tuesday, digitally and on vinyl!) include Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Yeah, I think I’m crying. but in a good way. I think.
[Tentatively catgeorized under "music"]

But, it can’t be as weird as all that, can it? I mean, I’ve always loved Rocket Man and I thought his interpretation of Common People was pretty neat. So I admit it, I didn’t realise quite how bizarre this collection might get.

Either You’re Losing Your Mind or William Shatner Is Doing “Bohemian Rhapsody” | Tor.com

So this one time you were out with your special lady/ladfriend and wondering if there’s anything else out there in the universe besides humankind and instead of getting to make out, like, right there, WILLIAM SHATNER’S FACE appears in the sky and sings to you about how he’s just killed a man and doesn’t want to die and there’s a devil waiting for him.

And this is how madness gets you. You’re having a nice date then suddenly Shatner owns your brain. And it just happens.

We apologize in advance for the terror you are about to experience. But not for the thrill.

And my favourite comment from the Tor.com article by Ian Johnson in Santa Cruz, California:

Here’s a tip: if William Shatner’s astronomically huge head appears out of the stars and sings Bohemian Rhapsody at you, you either need more drugs or fewer. Scientists haven’t determined the right amount yet. In any case, you might be going crazy, so see a doctor.

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

Minecraft Multiplayer Minecraft Mods

Even though the official modding API hasn’t been introduced (at the time of writing) many people have produced mods for Minecraft. There are mods for the single player game and mods for the multiplayer game, this article will discuss some multiplayer mods.

The server plugin architecture I have used is Bukkit but there are a few others. I’m sure the others have similar plugins to the ones I have tried out. The reasoning behind trying each of these plugins was to add something to the game without making it silly, ie I disregarded “Everyone is Invincible and can fly and do what they like” types.

The first, iConomy, is important because it has links with other mods.

iConomy adds currency into the game. It keeps tabs of how much currency people have which is then used by other mods to allow payment. Linked with this was a mod I forget the name of which takes money from you when you die – you can set it up so it doesn’t drop you below a certain value, takes a percentage, takes a fixed value, etc. There are other similar ones but this is the one I used.

Jobs
This mod enables you to configure simple jobs which reward people with gold for doing them. An example would be to create a Lumberjack and give money each time they cut down a tree. People can gain levels in a job as well as money and you can limit the number of people on the server allowed a specific job (eg Make a Sheriff job and give money for killing things but only allow one person to have it). People can either have a number of jobs or be limited in the amount of jobs they have.

PermissionsBukkit
Lots of mods which do this which is to basically allow functionality of mods to specific people, so you could have someone joining the server not able to do anything (including destroying and placing blocks), you could allow an admin position and everyone with that rank would be able to do the various slash Job commands like give someone a rank (if you weren’t doing it automatically) and an op position which would allow all commands.

HeroicDeath
A ‘silly’ little fun plugin which displays a message to all on the server when someone dies about the method of their death.

mcMMO
This is similar to the jobs plugin but with a couple of differences. Firstly, you’re not defined by job, it just rewards you with exp and levels for doing things like mining, fishing, killing, etc. So far, Jobs is a better mod. However, what this does is to allow ‘supermoves’ based on your levels. By holding a tool and right clicking you activate the jobs power so with an axe you chop things instantly not just the block you’re hitting but others around it. With mining you can mine things faster and based on your level you have a chance of getting double materials from it.

Essentials
This is more of an admin mod which gives lots of slash commands like allowing teleportation to players, setting warps places you can then go to at any point, etc. To be honest the main thing I liked about the mod (and things I’ve now found other mods do, rendering this one a bit useless) is the things it does with signs. You can place commands on signs to allow people to right click them and trigger various effects. One is to allow people who right click it to gain an item, the sign acting like a chest but one which is never emptied. When linked with the iConomy mod though you can have places where players sell blocks to earn money and places where players can spend money to get items which would otherwise take a lot of faffing about (eg Diamonds).

Cookiez
Silly fun addon which makes zombies drop cookies instead of feathers

Stargate
A mod which allows the creation of portals which are linked to each other instead of linking to the nether. Portals can be linked just with each other or to a number of different ones (you choose destination by clicking on a portal sign). Again this can be linked with the iConomy mod to require a fee before use.

There were a few of other mods I’ve seen which I’ve not tried but look interesting, it’s quite overwhelming really. There is a temptation to try everything but I think that could ruin things.

For more information and to look at the other mods which are available, please visit http://forums.bukkit.org/forums/plugin-releases.17/ or http://dev.bukkit.org.

Posted by Talthinar on http://mmorpg-info.org.