Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for all the support and for making December our best month yet. Haven't written anything in the last two days but I will be back at it full steam on Monday and maybe a bit tomorrow as well. In a bit of gaming related news Green Man Gaming is going to be having a massive New Years sale starting tomorrow, do check it out. Green Man Gaming generally has games very cheap, often as cheap as Steam Sales, and you can generally apply coupons onto already discounted games, which makes them ultra cheap. Check it out tomorrow! Will do a post if there are any other sales starting tomorrow as well. Happy New Year! Hope 2012 brings us another fantastic year of gaming. 

 -Sean Cargle 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monaco Overview

I've never written about Monaco, mainly because it's been in development for many years and still hasn't seen any demo or release date but I saw a recent update and figured it's about that time. Monaco is a very unique indie PC game that is all about action and stealth. Essentially it has a lot to do with with being a criminal, the kind inspired by French heist movies and set in modern day Monte Cristo. It's also not purely just singleplayer, it's developed specifically to be the most fun with one to four players playing cooperatively. The game is top down and presents you with different characters options, each of which have their own criminal expertise. You have to play the game carefully by hiding from the line of sight of guards, watching out for alarms and stealing everything without any confrontations. Check out the newest video that highlights the new music for the game along with some online gameplay.

The game may look a little crazy and chaotic but that may be because it is influenced by pacman. There is very little actual information about the game around their website but they mainly show off everything through videos. They mainly show off level creation and some few snippets of gameplay, through that they show that each class has their own unique skills that each player must use effectively to outwit guards. For instance Hackers can shut down security systems and the Muscle class can knocks holes through walls.  There is also a cleaner, prowler and locksmith. Pocketwatch Games is not only going to release the game with a singleplayer/co-op campaign of some sort but there will also be a level editor. Check out how the level editor looks, it seems to be exactly the same tool the developers use to make levels themselves.

They are also going to have a PVP mode alongside the beef of the game, which will be the co-op mode. One version of PVP will be death match and team death match while the other will be a competitive co-op mode. The competitive co-op mode pit's two teams against each other in a race to see which team can complete the objectives and escape first. Both of the pvp modes will be highly customizable, allowing you to add in enemies, traps, turrets, helicopters and all kinds of fun stuff. Have another look at gameplay with yet another gameplay video!

Monaco is very unique game and hopefully sometime during 2012 it will be released. You can keep an eye it on their facebook page or their main website, but they don't do updates too often. There are also a few other videos on their youtube page. Thanks for reading this and I hope I piqued your curiosity. 
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Terraria Story

It's about time I do my reiteration of my recent Terraria adventures and it will likely turn out just like the two Minecraft stories, MP and SP, I've done. This story is full of snowmen, goblins, unicorns, pixies, giant robotic worms and walls of flesh. Plus we've done quite a bit of work with traps, base building and the new materials.

Upon the last huge update of Terraria back at the beginning of December, detailed here, my brother, cousin and I started to new characters on a new world. We saw this new mode called mediumcore, which makes you drop all of your items when you die and is a middle ground between hardcore (permadeath) and softcore (you lose nothing but some coins). It seemed like a great idea at the time, but one we came to lament as we made our way through the new world. The problem with dropping all your items is that you often cannot get them back unless you have several friends to help, a whole extra set of equipment at your base or you are lucky and your corpse is very close by. The other huge problem with mediumcore, the most significant problem, is that when items drop they lose their special abilities. With the latest 1.1 update items are now unique, meaning you can craft a weak mythril sword that has negative points to damage or speed, or you can get lucky and get a sword that has +5% to damage. There are quite a lot of different attributes that can be applied to any item, armors and accessories included, and when you die on mediumcore all of your items lose that. There is a goblin NPC now that lets you reforge items, which costs quite a bit of money depending on the item, and give the item new abilities. So if you spend a lot of money getting a super special sword and then have that sword return to it's vanilla attributes once you die, well that's a bit obnoxious. So eventually we got tired of the extreme annoyances of mediumcore, like spending hours trying to get equipment back from the depths of the dungeon, and made softcore characters once again. In the screenshot below you can see many of new things, including weapon attributes, the tinkerer, traps and levers(top left where the bunny is), cobalt armor and the drill. The drill takes over for the mining pick after the inferno set.

We went through the world like you normally would, working our way up to demonite weapons and mining tools. The one big difference for the beginning of the game is traps and mimics, most everything else is normal until you fight the wall of flesh, but there are several new enemies like harpies and snowmen. Traps are pretty fantastic, in a frustrating and satisfying way. There are boulder traps and dart traps throughout the world now, often near chests or in opportunistic areas. Boulder traps will kill you instantly when you are starting the game out, they tend to do 100 damage per hit and they will roll down hill doing damage per movement. Dart traps poison you and will keep firing unless you disarm the trap, which you can do by breaking the pressure plate or finding the trap device that is shooting the darts. You can take all of these back to your base but you cannot do anything with them until later on when you save the mechanic, which you can do only do after you defeat the first new boss The Wall of Flesh. Stole this screenshot of the Wall of Flesh from Terraria wikia.

You summon this wonderful behemoth by finding dolls, which drop from demons in hell. You find the dolls then fling them into lava, once you do so you are stuck in the fight till you die. The Wall of Flesh is unique, if you somehow get behind you die, if you try to retreat you also die, the only option is to fight. With that said he seems a lot more intimidating than he is. If you have some pretty decent armor, silver or better, a minishark (a machine gun basically) and an anti gravitation potion (let's you float through the air) then you are pretty good to go. Once you beat The Wall of Flesh everything literally goes crazy. All corrupted areas of the world are now spreading at an increased speed and through every type of material except for walls. On top of that there are plentiful amounts of new very tough enemies roaming all corners of the world. Enemies that will seem damn near impossible to fight until you manage to get some weapons and armor from the first new material, Cobalt. The new materials keep randomly popping up in the world, it tells you that Mythril or Admantite has spawned, and you have a bunch of a new materials to work for. There is also a new area called the Hallow that will take over a random surface area of the map and start spreading, much like the new corruption it cannot be stopped by anything except for walls and gaps. We actually had to make a three layer gap all around our base in order to stop corruption from spreading into our home. The Hallow area would invade our home as well if it had started close enough. That area spawns new enemies like Unicorns and Pixies, both of which drop souls of light, one of the many new materials that is needed for many of the best new items.

Other than finding new areas and materials we also worked on finding the new NPC's. We were able to obtain them all but first we had to rescue the Tinkerer from the dungeon and the Goblin Mechanic from hell. After that we found the wizard, who sells various high end and odd items (like a disco ball!). You know when you see a NPC that sells an item that costs nearly a platinum that he is one of the late game vendors. You can also obtain Santa as a NPC, who sells lights and costume options, but first you will have to find a snowglobe and summon a snowman army. Summoning a snowman army against our newly built traps was pretty enjoyable, especially when you drop boulders down upon them as they attempt to bash your doors down. The snowmen are hilarious creations, you have the tommy gun snowman, mr. stabby and a shotgun snowman. They act just like the goblin army except they are much stronger and they assault your base for quite a long period of time. By the time that siege ended we had lost every NPC except for one.

The snowmen don't drop anything special but they do drop quite a lot of money and presents. Presents are dropped by damn near every enemy in the game and it has the chance to drop a snowglobe or various colors of candy cane. Candy cane is a wall type that can be used to make a house. The snowmen also drop snow, which is a new biome and will spawn in a new world, but you can also take the snow to create your own snow biome. Nothing in particular spawns in the snowy area but it does look quite delightful. Back to candy cane, we decided to take our excess candy cane and create a splendid house for Santa. It is a worthy home.

The end game of Terraria now has you fighting the super difficult versions of previous bosses. There is now the destroyer, a giant worm with roughly 80k hitpoints and when you injure it flying robots come off it's body to attack you. This boss is by far one of the hardest one's that we've tried to fight but if you can get some really nice armor, mythril or admantite, then it isn't too bad. It does help with you have wings, wings are one of the new items that allow you fly moderately high and glide all over the map. Wings are very hard to get though, they require souls from bosses, either the giant worm (destroyer) or the twin eyeballs.

The other two new bosses are double eyes of Cthulu, except they are now mechanical and much stronger. Once you injure them to a certain point they both change forums into robotic versions that do quite a lot of damage. Like the destroyer they are manageable with help and good equipment. The hardest of the new bosses is the new Skeletron, who we haven't even tried yet but by the accounts of others he is very difficult. All of the bosses drop the necessary souls to make Hallowed equipment, arguably the strongest weapons and armor in the game. All of the Hallowed equipment requires you to have one of each type of whatever you are making, so if you are trying to make a Hallowed helmet you will need the mythril, admantite and cobalt helmet plus twenty souls of sight. That equipment is now the ultimate goal but we still find new items every time I play. Fighting bosses is not easy and it takes a while to get good at it.

Terraria has added a lot within the last month, most of which with that huge 1.1 update, and if you haven't played it in a long time like I hadn't then you are sure to find a ton of new content to keep you interested. Also if you've never played Terraria I hope you picked up yesterday when it was on sale for ultra cheap, but even now it is still on sale on Steam for $5. Absolutely worth it if you enjoy a game that throws on exploring, crafting and rpg elements onto a Castlevania type of action game. Check it out and thanks for reading. Wish I had more to write today but this week is painfully slow for gaming news, so most of our "news" will be reviews and oddities like this post.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Renegade Ops Review

It is hard to go about reviewing something that looks great and is a lot of fun but has god awful controls. Renegade Ops is a twin shooter that has a fantastic arcade feel to it and destructible environments set in the same engine that ran Just Cause 2. It came out first on PSN and XBLA back in September with a later release on PC in late October. It is developed by SEGA. It is a downloadable game with a $15 price tag, a price tag that is very flexible this holiday season.

The story of the game is very light and action orientated, something you will feel right at home with if you grew up watching G.I. Joes. It has a light rpg element added onto the twin shooter action that lets you customize each of the four characters and level them up through a skill tree. The story isn't horribly long, lasting maybe five hours if you aren't rushing through or playing through it all on easy. There are several difficulties and the main difference between each one is the number of lives you start with and how strong health/ammo drops are. The story is pretty easy to ignore and the game tends to bring all the focus onto the action. The maps they give you, most of them that is, are fairly wide and open but have obvious routes that you should be taking in order to get to objectives. Each mission tends to just give you objective after objective and sometimes there side missions as well can be completed for extra points. Most of the levels are enjoyable and slick but there a few that feel a little poorly designed, especially when it seems impossible to do all the side missions and main objectives because of time constraints. Why they have time constraints in the first place, I don't know, but they tend to force you to move on and in a game where there are secret lives to find, side objectives to complete and areas to explore it is not appreciated. 

One of the main selling points is how well the game works within the graphical engine and like I mentioned before it is the same gorgeous tropical engine of Just Cause 2. If you've ever played Just Cause 2 then you know how fun blowing up buildings, vehicles, landmarks and radio towers is in that game, the same applies for Renegade Ops. Driving through buildings and around the tropical landscape is a pleasure to see, as is blowing up damn near everything. It helps that almost every objective involves you blowing up something, whether it's tanks, missiles or an aircraft carrier. Normally you go through a level as a land based vehicle, each of which is unique to each of the four characters, but there are also helicopters that you can use that are very powerful and fun to use. The only complaint about air combat is that once you use a helicopter you lose all unique features and abilities, but at least you still gain experience towards that particular character. There isn't a lot to the gameplay in Renegade Ops but it is done well and in an enjoyable manner. Check out this gameplay video to get an idea of how the gameplay is. 

The game's UI is made well but like the controls you can tell that it wasn't originally intended for the PC. I've thankfully played the game on Xbox 360 as well and can attest to the differences. While the UI and menu's are fine as they are, they could use quite a few customization options, the controls are terrible. Even when you start the game they recommend you use a gamepad instead of the keyboard/mouse setup. The default controls have you use the mouse only for abilities and firing your machine gun, while you drive with the keyboard and in this kind of game that is an absolute pain. With a gamepad you move very smoothly and easily but without one it feels very frustrating. Starting the game with this controls is brutal and eventually you can get used to them to some extent but even then they are still unpleasant. 

Last Comments
Renegade Ops is surprisingly enjoyable, despite it's poor controls and some poor mission mechanics. It a good example of how fun and addictive a twin stick shooter can be. You may think the premise is simple and the combat is repetitive but Renegade Ops has quite a punch, especially when you are fighting alongside friends. Sure it's very arcadey with it's light story and overly explosive world but it is solid and often strong game. If you can nab the game on sale and you happened to have a corded Xbox 360 controller, or some kind of gamepad, then Renegade Ops should be a pleasant surprise. Then again, if you can manage to get it on console then it is all the better, except for the whole thing with DLC and multiplayer both being easier to access, also cheaper, on PC. 

 Violent Score: 3.5 (out of 5) PC

 Violent Score: 4 (out of 5) XBLA/PSN 
Nearing Greatness..

-Written by Sean Cargle

Back to Battlefield 2

Never made that leap to Battlefield 3 or Bad Company 2? Well no worries there are still wonderful mods to keep Battlefield 2 strong. Take a look at Forgotten Hope 2 and Project Reality.

Forgotten Hope 2

Forgotten Hope was originally a realism WWII modification for BF1942 and for BF2 the mod team decided to go at it again. Forgotten Hope 2 came late in BF2's existence but made quite a large impact on the modding community, generally earning itself the number two spot behind Project Reality as the most popular modification. It is still a WWII modification and it still boasts large maps that support planes, armor, infantry and support guns.

Forgotten Hope 2 - 2.4 Official Trailer - Mod DB

I had played Forgotten Hope 2 quite a lot when it initially came to Battlefield 2 but never found it to be as appealing as the original modification was for BF1942. All of the maps were originally placed in the African theatre of war and Italy but now they have expanded the mod to include other theatres as well. Forgotten Hope 2 has several other game modes on top of the typical BF conquest mode. Many of the modes are strategic based, often requiring you take out objectives or capture areas in a set order. The mod is still going strong and recently was a runner-up for modification of the year, along with Project Reality, and is nearing the release of its 2.5 version. It is a fairly large download, nearly two gigabytes, but is easy to install. Check it out, it's likely one of the best WWII games out there at the moment.
Main Website:
MoDDB Page:

Project Reality 

As it is known to many, PR is still one of my favorite modifications of any game ever. With Project Reality they attempt to do what many have clamored for in a FPS since the genre has come into existence, make people work together as a team. With PR if you try to go the lone wolf you are either wasting the team's resources or wasting your own time, little will be accomplished on your own while others are out there trying to find enemy ammunition caches or forward bases. Generally with PR most people use mics or at the very least are very good at typing, because without communication your squad will die and the enemy will win. The most organized and skilled team are the ones who win. Besides all the emphasize on teamwork PR has other unique features that make it the #1 modification for Battlefield 2. On a basic level it has destructible buildings, something that no other BF2 mod had before it and few first person shooters had at the time. It also has large scale transport vehicles, like chinhooks, huge maps, a unique damage system and interesting classes that force people to work together. Check out the most recent trailer for their 0.95 release.

Project Reality BF2 Mod v0.95 Trailer - Mod DB

I have played PR a lot over the years, it's one of those games that you play quite a lot with friends and then move onto something else after a while only to return to it again at a later date for one reason or another. Never in any other game has squad based combat felt as right as it does in PR. Spotting enemies, defending areas, doing "boring" tasks are often vital to the team and feel more significant than such actions do in many other games. Running through the gorgeous and massive maps is also a pleasure, especially when you watch buildings get decimated by artillery and crumble to the ground. Not all of the buildings in the game are destructible though. If you've ever wanted to play a game that feels like modern combat should be, organized and tactial on a large scale, then check out Project Reality. They have also moved the mod over to ARMA 2 but it I haven't seen anything fantastic come from that version yet. Can't recommend this one enough yet at the same time I don't recommend it to anyone who considers casual FPS games to be perfect.
Main Website:
MoDDB Page:

Honorable Mentions
US Intervention Mod:
-Made by the guys who made the original Desert Combat for BF1942.

Point of Existence 2:
-Focuses on Eastern Europe modern combat and supports singleplayer.

Thanks for reading, be back shortly.
-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kenshi Update and Gameplay

I haven't written about the open world Samurai game Kenshi since it was first announced, but the one developer has done quite a bit to the game since then. Before I do that let me give a short overview of the game, for anyone who knows of the game already skip to the next paragraph. Kenshi is a small open indie Samurai game that is made by one person at Lofigames. The first build of the game came out back in October and while it was very crude it was easy to see the large amount of exciting possibilities that could come from Kenshi. The game has an open pre-order module, like Minecraft did, where you can play the newest versions of the game and own the game once you pre-order. The game has a lot of great ideas, like building settlements, an interesting combat system that makes injuries quite significant, a party system that requires you to rely on others to survive, factions and a lot of promise. It's really easy to compare it to the game Mount and Blade for it's lofty aspirations of a huge open world and it's party based system. Check out this first trailer for some idea of how the game looks, so far it has fairly poor graphics but the developer really wanted to get down the ideas of the game before graphics and promises to make it more visually appealing by the end.

Most recently the developer has been talking about the newest update which has to do with carrying. What that boils down to is merely being able to carry corpses or injured allies but it also means you can now capture enemies. With this he plans to have bounty hunters capturing people for ransom, police taking prisoners, cannibals taking prisoners to eat and all kinds of interesting options. Carrying also has to do with being wounded. So when you are injured to the point where you character falls, or one of your allies, that character will stay down for a while because of their wounds. In order to get them out of that area, since healing in such a state takes quite a while, you have to have someone carry them. To make this idea a little less harsh there is now a new type of med kit that allows you to heal individual body parts, so you may heal an injured leg in order to let someone walk again.


There are quite a few things that are being coming up next after this carrying update. The developer wants to bring in the option to purchase buildings soon, which will allow you to heal quickly and store equipment. There will also be imprisonment in the near future, which ties back to some of the ideas about carrying/capturing people. You will also be able to get captured by enemies, so you may have to go on some rescue missions in order to save a comrade who was captured by slavers, police or an enemy faction. After you are able to purchase buildings you will be able to outfit it for crafting and research. The best equipment in the game will taken out of shops and only available through crafting or research once it gets to that point. You will also eventually be able to make a building you own into a shop or hospital. All of that is high priority for the near future and there is also a list of loftier aspirations, like siege warfare, ranged combat, mining, farming, larger world map, building your own outpost out in the desert, huge armies traversing the land, a larger complexity and number of factions, wildlife, creatures and so much more. To check out that list head over here. Assuming the developer stays focused on the game and keeps releasing updates in a timely fashion then Kenshi is going to turn out to be quite fantastic, keep your eyes on it. If you want to check it out now you can head over to the main website and pre-order for $10. Here is a more recent video that shows off a little bit of combat, healing, vendors and inventory management. Thanks for reading and I hope to be back shortly with more news.

Main Website:
IndieDB Page:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Interstellar Marines Multiplayer Update

The team over at Interstellar Marines came out with a nice holiday update that introduced competitive multiplayer for the first time in their game.Firs off, if you have no idea what Interstellar Marines is check out first overview/impressions post on it back in October. The new mode is called Deadlock and it has a fully dynamic weather system, an overhaul to animations, open door development and cloud based multiplayer on all the the reworked Combat Range map. The open door development is all about letting players bring "unfiltered insight" into the development of the game. Players will be able to introduce anything from new weapon models to changes in net code. Also with Deadlock they will be updating it more frequently than ever before, now releasing updates on a weekly basis.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Zero Point Software!

Deadlock is unfortunately only available to those with Spearhead of Frontline pre-order access. I do believe this is their first release that is not available openly to all. They do still have running man, bullseye and the vault still available to anyone who is registered on their website. The game has been in development for quite some time and I have tried all the free modes, which are all pretty enjoyable, but with this new release I hope it means they are stepping it up and heading to some kind of full release in the near future. For more on Interstellar Marines or the new Deadlock mode head on over to their website and check it out. Thanks for reading and be back shortly with more news.
Main Website:

Silence before the storm - The journey of Open Door Development begins here!

-Written by Sean Cargle

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Splendid December and Gaming Deals

We are just about to hit 60,000 views, just in time for Christmas. Big thanks to everyone who reads any of our work. We also hit a milestone for number of views per month, just surpassing 11,000 for December and the month isn't even over yet. I don't have anything to write up, except for these sales, for this weekend but on Monday I will be back at and writing as much as I can find. Thanks everyone and Happy Holidays.

 -Sean Cargle

*Updated for December 25th 
Here are some holiday sales going on right now for anyone interested. Get Games Go and Green Man Gaming are both reputable and the majority of their games are Steam compatible. All deals are PC only except for Amazon. Don't miss the Amazon ones, they have some wonderful PC download sales like Deus Ex for $10 and Tropico 4 for $5, plus they have Dungeon Defenders for $2 instead of $15.Also, Gamersgate has a huge amount of sales going and I highly recommend picking up Baldurs Gate II Complete Pack for $2!!

Green Man Gaming 
Lord of the Rings: War In The North  $30.79 
Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim $53.79 (look to Steam Sale)
Saints Row: The Third $39.97
 -With this voucher, FIFTY-SAINT-XMASS, you can get it for $19.99 until December 26th.
Batman Arkham City $44.37 (Amazon has cheaper but it's not digital, see below)
Fear 3 $15.37
Nuclear Dawn $6.23

Steam's Daily Deals
IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 $3.39
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliff of Dover $16.99
Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition $4.99 
Killing Floor $4.99
Football Manager 2012 $26.79
Fallout 3 $4.99
Atom Zombie Smasher $2.49
Nuclear Dawn $4.99
Alice: Madness Returns $7.49

Call of Duty MW3 $44.99
Dungeons Series 75%
Overlord Series 75% Off
X3 Series 75% Off 

Get Games Go
Deus Ex: Human Revolution $14.99 (cheaper from Amazon, see below)
Red Orchestra 2 $11.99
Alien vs. Predator $3.49
Alpha Protocol $3.49
Men of War Assault Squad $14.99

Batman Arkham City $47.90 (consoles) $30.56 (PC)
Uncharted 3 $49.99 (down from $59.99)
Call of Duty MW3 $49.99 (everything, down from $59.99) 
Battlefield 3 $47.99 (xbox 360) $53.47 (ps3) $50.95 (PC digital)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution $10 (PC digital) $39.96 (xbox 360 and ps3) 
Shogun 2: Total War $14.99 (PC digital) 
Tropico 4 $5!!! (PC digital) 
Dungeon Defenders $1.99! (PC digital) 
Sid Meier's Civilization V $14.99 (PC digital, Mac digital, PC hardcopy) 
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood $9.99 (PC digital) 
Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition $7.50 (PC digital) 

Battlefield 3 $40
Red Orchestra 2 $20
Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 $15
Revolution Under Siege $12
Delve Deeper 4 for 3 Pack $4
Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword $5
Dungeon Defenders 4 for 3 Pack $22.49
Ghostbuters: Sanctum of Slime $5
Fate of the World $2.50
Just Cause 2 $12
Bunch of Heroes $5
Cthulu Saves The World 4 for 3 Pack $3
Need for Speed The Run $30
Sid Meiers Civilization V $10 
Jamestown $5
Total War Shogun 2 $15
Warhammer 40K: Space Marine $38
Bastion $7.50
Baldurs Gate II Complete $2.50
Space Pirates and Zombies $5

Too many sales too list, head to Gamersgate to find plenty more, they have fifty-eight pages of sales right now. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Best Indie Games and Mods of 2011

ModDB and IndieDB have just released their winners for best indie games and modifications of the year, plus some winners for best unreleased mods and indie games. I was thrilled to see that so many of my favorite indie games of this year are winners, including Bastion and the splendid Sword & Sorcery EP. Both of these awards are editor choice awards and the winners of community choice will be announced in the beginning of January. Here is the video they made to announce the indie game winners.

IOTY 2011 Editors Choice Awards - Mod DB

Now if you feel like watching a similar video, with the same music, then here is the video for the best mods of 2011. They did a splendid job making both videos and there are some great mod's that won that I've never heard of but now I must research them and check them out. 

MOTY 2011 Editors Choice Awards - Mod DB

To check out the announcements and full info: ModDB and IndieDB

I don't know how many people check out these two websites as often as I do but they have some great games and developers working through them. Thanks for reading and watching. 

-Written by Sean Cargle

Mysterious Castle

It is indeed mysterious. This game feels like I'm playing an old Ultima game mixed with some kind of turn based tactic games, all with an old school graphical style. You start in a randomly generated forest, with a town in it, and choose three party members to start the game with. You can select some options for how big you want the world to be, how bright, how many enemies and few other customization. Your party is fully customizable, with typical rpg attributes and inventory, but you don't level up to gain new points in attributes you learn them by finding books. Everything moves around in real time until you run into enemies and the it becomes turn based. The game is tiny little indie game that is available free on PC and MAC but also on the iOS for $3. The most stable versions of the game are for mac and iOS, but the PC version ran perfectly fine for me, but the newest version doesn't have any music.

I played the game for several hours and the first time I played it my entire party was slaughtered by a group of koblods five minutes into the game. The second time however I decided to be a bit more cautious and immediately found the town, gathered a few healing supplies, talked to several NPC's and found a nearby cave full of the undead. So far the game seems to only consist of undead enemies, skeletons and zombies, and various types of koblods. They are always in groups and can be quite a huge threat to your party, especially if they manage to land critical hits or flanking blows. I like the way they did combat, took a bit of typical hack and slash mechanics and mixed it with some ideas from tactical rpgs like Final Fantasy tactics. You can flank enemies, surround enemies, sneak attack enemies, critical enemies, hit glancing blows and do several different types of attacks. Of course all of that can be done to your characters as well and in that regard the AI is quite good at flanking you when it can.

Screenshots 001

The game is made by one developer, Jeremy Jurksztowicz, and he is planning to add a full editor mode that will allow you to view the whole map and mess with it however you wish. It also looks like you will be able to make your own maps beforehand and save them. Here is the one screenshot on that.

The game is pretty enjoyable in the state it is in and it is very challenging. The developer plans to keep the game free for PC and Mac forever, eventually making it into a pay what you want kind of game. You can download the newest version of the game over at IndieDB or you can check it out on your phone at the App Store. Thanks for reading and check it out if you are into old rogue likes or party based tactical rpgs.
Main Website:

Thanks RPS for alerting me of the game's existence. 
-Written by Sean Cargle

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Planetside 2 Update

They have done quite a lot of work on Planetside 2 since I last wrote about it when it was announced. Since then they have revealed a number of new features about the game and a faction video. First off, watch this video showcasing the three factions and describing what they are about.

Now for the features. So we already knew that Planetside 2 was going to be like the first game with regards to the three factions battling it out over territories but now they have revealed that each territory will have it's own special resource that will make it worth fighting over. If your faction manages to hold a resource long enough then your faction will receive fuel, ammo, tech and other bonuses. They have revealed that each of these territories will be part of several continent maps, every part of which can be fought over. The game will have several of the classic roles from the first game but will also be introducing new ones alongside a persistent class system. In the first game they gave you a big map and told you were battles were taking place, now they are going to handle it by letting players, plus SOE, create missions to drive new players into the action. One of the biggest problems with the first game was finding battles, often the combat icons on the map represented very small scale battles if anything, so if they use missions to drive people to work together then battles should be easier to participate in as well as being larger in size. 

One new feature, compared to the first game, is a much more extensive player customization system. Now not only can you customize your class with weapons and abilites but you will also have unique skill trees to unlock. The skill trees will apply to weapons, vehicles, equipment, attachments and specialized skills. They also seem to be doing a Battlefield kind of unlock system where you unlock weapons and unlock attachments for those weapons, but I don't know whether they are doing that based on use or rank. That's about it for features and they haven't shown off any of these features so far, unless you are lucky enough to be in the beta to see them. Speaking of the beta that brings me to my last point, you can now sign up for their beta here. If you were an original planetside player you get extra bonuses if you still have the same account for SOE. Thanks for reading and I will be certain to do more posts on Planetside 2 once they start releasing some gameplay screens, video and info. 
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stasis First Look

Like space adventure games where everything goes horribly wrong? Well Stasis is that kind of game. Adventure games generally have a side view but Stasis is using an isometric graphical style. Another unique part of this dark space adventure game is how you use your Emergency Medical Kit to break down any object into it's base elements in order to combine it with other elements or you can merely do so to store it easier. The story is about an ordinary man who is trying to help his family but he is trapped in a horrific environment aboard a space ship. The game has been in development for a year and is to the point where they are starting to finalize details, like release date, and get everything finished. Normally I don't get into these types of adventure games much but this one looks unique enough and dark enough to get me excited, plus it's graphically appealing and to me that is something uncommon these days for this genre.  This is a small indie PC game and it's the kind that I'm always throwing praise at damn near everyday here, so apologies for that but do take a look. The game has an Aliens look to it that I hope develops into something terrifying. Thanks for reading and watch the trailer, gameplay starts about halfway through.
Main Website:

Also, I had to throw this image in there because it actually shows off some kind of UI.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Game of Thrones RPG First Trailer

I've known for quite some time that Cynaide Studios was making a third person rpg based off the A Song of Fire & Ice series by George R. Martin, but there was never any information on it until now. Well to be honest there still isn't any information about the game, other than the one section describing The Wall on their website, but there at least now is an actual gameplay trailer. This game is being made by the same studio that made the disappointing Game of Thrones-Genesis. I'm quite worried that they will muck up this game as well but at least it's an entirely different type of game, Genesis being a real time strategy game, and I hope it is a different group of developers. The game is supposed to come out early 2012 which seems very sketchy due to the small amount of information on the game but at least they are the right track this time around. With Genesis they didn't release any  real gameplay videos, even when the game had a week left before release, and it was a sign of how poor gameplay was. Here's to hoping for a splendid open world RPG set in our beloved world of Westeros. At the very least we can tell that they are using locations and people directly from the books. Without further ado here is the first gameplay trailer. Thanks to RPS for catching this trailer.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

10 Minute Space Strategy

Yes that is indeed the name of this game. What we have here is a 4x space strategy game that is quick, fairly simple, addictive and quite a lot of fun. If you've ever played a game like Galactic Civilization or A.I. War you will understand the basic concepts: research, conquer and colonize. The game is made by some indie developers who called themselves The Goblin Lunatics and I applaud them for their efforts. Rarely do people make "quick" 4x strategy games that are still filled with some depth and is still enjoyable. You start a game by choosing how many players you want to fight, how many planets are present, how rare planets and how large the star map is. I've played it through three times on medium in thirty to forty minutes and each time playing as a different race is interesting, especially since many have their own unique buildings and they all have their own customizable traits. The game ends as soon as you defeat the other players but there are also tons of neutral alien planets that you can conquer.

The graphics are very minimal, as you can see above, but they are continually adding to the game with the hopes of eventually making it a paid game. The game can get quite difficulty as you add in many players and you have balance between trying to colonize planets and creating massive fleets of bombers and fighters. Fighters destroy everything in the sky while bombers are the only thing that can successfully make an enemy planet become neutral, which it needs to be in order for you to colonize it. When you send out colony ships it takes out away 1.0 of population from that planet, so you have to specialize planets with specific buildings, like cities, to make population increase quickly enough to accommodate many colony ships. Every planet you colonize is different as well, each with their own building capacity, unique perks, and planet types. Based on your races original homeworld you can populate other homeworlds easier.

10 min space strategy, gameplay video - Mod DB

If you are a fan of these types of games then I definitely suggest you take a go at this one. Even if you only play through a couple matches you will hopefully appreciate what they have created and how it feels like a splendid homage to the full scale retail versions of 4x space strategy games. It's been out for quite a while and I just saw it on MODDB today, for some reason, but you can download the free 1.0 version over at their website or MODDB.  Thanks for reading and checking it out. 
Main Website:
ModDB Page:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Infinity Blade 2 Review

Infinity Blade 2 has been out since the beginning of December and once again available for the iPad and iPhone like it's predecessor. Like the first Infinity Blade it brings a fairly hardcore experience to the an area of gaming that has very few, if any, other games like it. The first game had you travelling through an old castle in order to defeat the evil God King, you used the motion touch of the iPhone/iPad to dodge, parry, block and strike back against your enemies. The game was also an rpg, letting you gain experience and loot through every fight, plus you could find chests and money pouches throughout the world. The castle you traveled through was fairly linear, you had several options for different paths but they all lead to the same place. It was a deep game that had an entire bonus area once you finally managed to get the god kings blade, an area complete with several difficult bosses. Infinity Blade also had multiplayer that was surprisingly well done and enjoyable. The new game takes all of those ideas and builds upon it by creating more paths, more enemies, more loot, more bosses, new spells and so much more.

One of the biggest new features of Infinity Blade 2 is the new weapons. Not only is there a plethora of new weapons to use but they also added two handed weapons, dual wielding on top of the original sword and shield style. They all have their own particular uses against specific types of enemies and for the new weapon styles you have to get super good at parrying, which requires you slash across the screen in the same direction that an enemy is swinging. Parrying was a lot harder to do in the first game but now it is a little easier since it is almost a necessity, especially with two handed weapons. Two handed weapons do absolutely massive amounts of damage while dual wielding doesn't do much damage by comparison but it does allow you to dodge/parry without becoming exhausted as easily as any other weapon type. Exhausted is something new they added so you cannot indefinitely keep dodging, especially when you have a heavy shield or full plate armor. It will still allow you to dodge but you will now take some damage if you are out of stamina.

Yeah it does actually look this good

With the new weapons they have also added gem slots to every piece of equipment, including rings, shield, armor, helmets and well everything. There are many different types and gem shapes, but they do things like increased damage of a specific type, shield power is restored upon casting a spell, parrying heals you x amount of health and many other effects. The gems are something that you find in chests or earn through battle and they can be worth quite a bit of money. Money has been far less of a problem in this game thanks to that but also thanks to how much bigger the world is. Compared to the first game this new area has quite a few more paths, each of which ends at three different bosses and half the time you can travel sideways through the level in order to get to different areas. For instance there is an arena and in the middle of the arena is a giant tree, you can climb up that tree which will take you straight to one of the bosses but far from the boss that you would have encountered if you had traveled through the doors of the arena. This world is also full of secrets to unlock, as you defeat each boss a part of this mural lights up, eventually leading to some interesting situations and rewards.

Infinity Blade 2 takes everything good from the first game and expands upon it. They have created a world with more options, more loot to find, more enemies to fight, more items to unlock and more ways to play through it. It also still a very challenging game and by no means a casual game. The game runs surprisingly well on the iPhone 3GS, even though it recommends you use a newer phone (4G) to run it. The game isn't all good though, they have gotten rid of survival and multiplayer, two of the latest additions to the first game. The size of the app is also huge and problematic for people like me who only have an eight gigabyte phone. Other than those complaints the game is one of the best games on the iPhone, hands down, and definitely the most gorgeous one. If you have an iPad then Infinity Blade 2 would be absolutely love to behold but even on the iPhone it still looks quite good and runs fairly well. Both games are developed by Epic Games and Infinity Blade 2 costs $7.
Main Website:
App Store:

Violent Score: 4.5 (out of 5)

-Written by Sean Cargle

Dungeons Defenders Etheria Holiday Extravaganza

In Trendy Entertainments normal fashion, despite the fact they just launched a rather large paid DLC, we are getting a free Christmas themed DLC today. One that adds one new challenge maps, new enemies, new costumes, four new weapons and a giant mega snowman boss. Like all of their holiday DLC it is free around the holiday itself and then will become paid DLC later on. Also like all of their DLC it will not be arriving immediately onto XBLA and PSN, due it to having to get approved and all that. Dungeon Defenders is also having a holiday sale on Steam right now for 50% off, getting it down to $7.49. That's it for this tiny post but watch the Holiday Extravaganza trailer!

-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, December 19, 2011

Contagion First Gameplay

You all like zombie games right? Well Contagion is a multiplayer co-op zombie game being made by the folks that made the very popular Zombie Panic Source mod for Half Life 2. They are now calling themselves Monochrome and this is their first title. Contagion has been in the works for a while and they just released their first gameplay footage from the Alpha. The game looks a lot like Left 4 Dead right now but with some differences, like you can become zombie and attack your friends. There is so little information about the game that it's a little annoying, but based on the trailer it looks as if you turn into a zombie once you are slain by zombies as a survivor. Contagion doesn't look like anything special at the moment but it definitely has the potential to become a unique zombie game. You can now sign up to be a beta tester for the game, here, if you wish. Once there is some significant information about the game I will do another post, but until then just watch this gameplay.
Contagion Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review (PC)

After seventy hours of gameplay I can finally come to terms with Skyrim. Even after seventy hours I haven't finished half of the factions quests, half of the side quests or explored more than seventy percent of the map. As everyone is aware Skyrim is absolutely massive and it is continually growing with the support of the modding community. For instance I just saw a mod working to create an online mode. Like Oblivion before it Skyrim offers a full immersive single player experience in a world full of quests, dragons, war, daedric gods and all kinds of enemies out there to end your life. Skyrim is such a huge to try to cover that I am going to do a like/dislike list with explanations, much like how I did the Unity of Command review.

One of the first things you will notice about Skyrim is the graphics, why? Because it is stunningly gorgeous. After a while you will come to notice that some textures are not excellent and could be improved, but the environmental and level design is superb. Bethesda Softworks clearly learned from Oblivion how to create more interesting dungeons, no longer will enter numerous cave networks that feel the same, look the same and leave you with no sense of awe. The only areas that do become repetitive are the crypt levels but the way they make even caves look gorgeous and feel unique is impressive. 

While that screenshot shows off how impressive inside areas are being out in the world is often just as impressive. Whether you travel into the mountains and can damn near feel the snow falling down upon or if you are out walking the streets of Riften as rain sends everyone indoors. One of the biggest complaints about the graphics in Oblivion was how hard it was to run, it was poorly optimized, and how you cannot see any structures from very far away, with Skyrim they added in an amazing field of view that lets you see all major structures as long as you can actually see it. The game still is a bit hard to run for middle line set ups but it seems to have far fewer problems with optimization than Oblivion did.

In twenty hours I was able to get my second character character to level twenty five or so while my first character has about fifty hours on him and is only level thirty-eight. Like many games once you start playing it the second time you tend to know how to level your character up in a quicker manner. With regards to character development it's almost the same as Oblivion, you use skills and using them levels you up. Now when you level up you choose to place points into specific skills, all of which have unique trees that are relevant to each skill. For instance, if you manage to make it to the highest possible rank in smithing you can create armor out of dragon bones and scales. Also, you no longer have attributes like strength, intelligence, dexterity etc., now you choose to level up health, magicka or stamina each time you level. While that is simpler it does work well, better? I'm not sure about that, but the whole system is still working fine. I would have liked to see them do a more significant change to make it into a great system and if you didn't like how leveling worked in Oblivion then these improvements are unlikely to change your view on the system. In regards to leveling enemies no longer always scale to your level but they are now varied based on the location and quest. Some enemies do still scale but even when they do scale all the enemies you fight are not going to be of the same level.

Now we come to one of my least favorite parts of the game, the UI (the graphical interface that involves all menu's and displays). At first it is really easy to get used to the UI and it doesn't feel like there is much wrong with it but once you get farther along you start to notice that it really doesn't work very well. Much of the UI feel's like it was meant more for consoles than PC. Often you will open up the inventory or conversation menu's and the game will say to do this press E to equip (as an example) but that often doesn't work and instead you have to click it. The game randomly will switch that around and make it so clicking options doesn't work but keys do, rarely do both work like they are intended. They also added a favorite's menu, which is easy to use and access but for some reason you can't bind keys to anything, like a traditional PC rpg. Overall the UI is pretty shoddy and the game has been out for a month and it's still not fun to use. I've seen much worse UI before but this is a huge game with very high production values, it shouldn't have been as sketchy. To check out the UI and some gameplay check out my some of video I took of my first ten hours of the game.

Many people disliked the main quest in Oblivion and found many of the side quests uninspiring, the same feeling persists in Skyrim but on a far lesser scale. There are some side quests that feel a little tacked on or generic but even those are often met with impressible level designs. All the voice acting through the game helps make the quests more interesting, mainly because they hired some good voice actors for Skyrim. You definitely will hear some voices more than once, especially with random npc's like bandits or villagers, but it's all well done. The main quest takes you through some fantastic areas, like one my favorite areas (seen below),   and is complemented by the war side quest ,which is so big that it almost feels like it's part of the main quest. Between the two it is a longer and more engrossing main storyline but I do still miss Sean Bean.

Likes and Dislikes
+Breath taking Environments 
+Hundreds of hours of gameplay
+Mod Support (creation kit comes out this month) 
+Large amount of character creation options
+Can play the game however you want 
+No more level scaling
+Fighting dragons is an awesome experience
+Many different types of enemies to fight
+Many large cities to explore
+Companions are very useful and customizable
-The UI is buggy
-Quests/AI can be annoyingly buggy
-Some broken quests
-Some Shouts feel useless 

Last Comments
There is a lot to like about Skyrim. The game is so enjoyable that it is fairly easy to look over any and all negatives but every time something breaks it hurts the experience. I was a huge fan of Oblivion, playing it for over two hundred hours thanks to modifications and Skyrim improves upon so much that it is difficult to dislike anything about it. Skyim is a dream for open world rpg gamers and all of it's improvements may convert some of those who hated previous Elder Scroll games. It is still a game that unleashes you upon a huge world and let's you loose to do whatever you want. If you are one of the few out there questioning it's greatness than I strongly urge you to get it when it goes on sale. The world is worth spending time, even if it's just to summon a storm that shoots lightning down upon the dragon you are fighting, forcing it to crash land before your eyes.

Violent Score: 9.5 (out of 10)

-Written by Sean Cargle

Left 4 Dead- Impulse 76 Fan Film

I don't post about game films very often but this one is quite well done and has a very interesting twist. I also love how they flat out use the sounds and costumes from Left 4 Dead for all of the people. It is made by Northern Five Entertainment and it sponsored by Airsoft GI. It is cool and crazy film, check it out and if you go watch it on youtube do not read the comments first! They will ruin it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cobalt Reaches Alpha

Cobalt, the next game by Mojang and Oxeye Game Studios, has just reached alpha. Like Minecraft you can now pre-order it at this point and be able to ride along development the entire way to release, for a lower price as well. At Alpha it costs $10, beta $15, gold/release $20. They throw around Mojang's name all over the website for Cobalt but I am almost certain Mojang is just the publisher, not developer. Which makes a lot of sense when you look at what kind of game Cobalt is. To use Mojang's description, "Cobalt is an action game of running, jumping, rolling, shooting, throwing, dancing, hacking, rolling, flying, sliding, climbing, looting, deflecting, racing, piƱata-ing, passing, scoring… and even more rolling!" What it looks like to me is 2d chaotic cyborg shooter. It does have some interesting and possibly impressive graphics. 

Yeah I can't really tell what's going on either

Well it looks like you won't be able to play online multiplayer for Cobalt until the game is fully released and until then they are focusing on a single player campaign with same computer multiplayer only. Right from the Alpha you will have a singleplayer/co-op campaign and a level editor to play around with. The campaign looks surprisingly fun, initially I thought it was just deathmatch modes and typical stuff like that but instead I learned that the campaign actually involves quite a bit of exploring and surviving in a hostile and futiristic environment. You can even crack safes and hack computers, but the game is mainly about running around killing enemies. Check out this video from Minecon, it shows off a bit of the singleplayer, and if you want to pre-order the game or check out more head on over to their main website. Thanks for reading and here's to hoping they have a demo sometime soon. 
Cobalt Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Saturday, December 17, 2011

SWTOR Impressions

This impressions will attempt to cover different topics other than the one's covered in the beta impressions article. Adam and I are both playing the early access and we will each discuss our impressions. Star Wars The Old Republic officially starts in three days on the 20th.

Sean's Impressions
In the beta I had played a Jedi Knight, Bounty Hunter and Sith Inquisitor. So far in the retail release of Star Wars The Old Republic I've focused exclusively on the Republic Commando, getting him up to level 18. Also, I've done several more areas of the Republic side of the game and several space battles. One of the first things I have to say is that out of all the prologue areas, now having played all four of them, the Jedi prologue area is by far the least exciting. Both of the Imperial prologue areas are far more interesting than both of the Republic ones, mainly because the story lines give you more unique feeling scenarios, but the Republic Commando/Smuggler area is pretty good. That area is a warzone on a planet where the people are rebelling against the Republic and the rebels have secret imperial support. Playing the Commando in this area was a little interesting mainly because you were dealing with military corruption and lies. You generally had to choose whether to join in on the corruption and make a lot of money or attempt to represent the Republic as a force of good. 

The graphics are quite a bit slicker compared to the beta but I still cannot help but notice how characters face are pretty well done while everything equipment related doesn't look very good. That may just be the price of having hundreds of people running around but some aspects of the graphics feel dated. Thankfully it's pretty easy to overlook that when other areas are quite good looking, like Space Battles and environments in general. The menu's are pretty easy to use and there is a codex to provide background information on the world, characters, special items, ships and enemies. I'm quite annoyed about some things they removed since the beta, like being able to teleport to your parties instance or being able to convert commendations (one of the main sources of currency). Overall though the game feels a bit cleaned up compared to the beta, which is to be expected. Feel like watching the game for eighteen minutes? Probably not, but take a glance at the last area of the Republic Commando's prologue plus a bit of PVP and The Esseles Flashpoint.

As much as the game doesn't feel like a MMO sometimes, especially with the conversation system, crew system, group system, social points and space combat, it sure does whenever you are in an area. They still do a great job making it so you don't have to grind for any quests but you do have to fight through quite a few enemies on the way to quests. Datacrons are something that I enjoy finding, especially since it makes exploring worthwhile, something I'm always happy to see. Datacrons are secret items that are present in every major area, seemingly, and give you permanent stat boosts. They remind me a little of exploring in Rift, because Rift has these secret puzzles to find all over the place and they were quite difficult to solve. In The Old Republic they just make Datacrons hard to get to and figuring out how to get to one or where it is tends to be the complicated part, but so far they are not nearly as difficult as Rift puzzles. The Datacrons do seem to  scale in difficulty with the level of areas, so harder levels seem to have more difficult to find Datacrons.

Tiny bit on the crew system, which is essentially how you do 100% of crafting. They have done this system quite well. You send your crew members out on missions, based on whatever crew skills you choose, to find materials or craft items. Sending them out for materials is done as if they are doing missions, each with their own description, and each mission costs some money. At the beginning the amount of money is insignificant but the higher skill level the more it costs to send people on these missions. When you craft items you can choose to reverse engineer them and get some material backs or sell them. The whole system works pretty well and its nice to have your companions out doing things when you are doing a flashpoint or just walking around not in a combat area.

At around level 17 I received my first ship. This ship is customizable and can be outfitted with better armor, shields, missiles and several other enhancements. Rank one enhancements don't cost too much but the very next rank ones are quite expensive costing far more than I can hope to have for a while. Space Battles difficulty is determined by how well your ship is outfitted, each battle warns you that you should have up to a certain rank of enhancements in order to be able to win. Space battles do indeed look and feel like a rail shooter. It absolutely nothing compared to a real game but as a minigame it is well done and enjoyable, plus it gives you a good deal of experience and credits. As far as I can tell there are only three space battles, at least one's that I can fight in, but they are promising to do a lot with them in the future. That's it for my impressions but I did take some video of the two space battles that I got to fight in, so check that out. One last note, if you are not a fan of MMO's this still isn't the game for you because it heavily uses well known MMO mechanics. Someday there will be an innovative MMO that changes everything up and is still fun, but for now we have a game that builds upon many fundamentals to create a new experience. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.