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RSS Reviews  (0 - 10 of 17)
8

Sins of a Galactic Empire

Mod review

Soldier on with this ambitious mod!

9

Hazard

Game review

Hazard: a maze exploring FPS with striking visuals.

If you want to experience a new take on maze FPS, do give this a try.

What it does right:

The music is exciting and keeps the flow in the action.
You want to keep running and shooting.

Graphics are striking and the background structures are a fresh take on the tron / tech theme. While still remaining original. I especially like the part that looks like a movie theater.

Weapon icons and models are bold and fit the net-tech theme very well.

Enemy / ammo balance - do not waste shots as you have just enough to get through - most enemies shoot and are not easy to take down with the laser sword.

Was not stoked about:

Not much indication what parts of a path are teleports. Maybe there was a texture I didnt notice?

There are blocked paths that will teleport you until you use the disk at the terminal. But then there are other little path chunks that do the same thing - this can be a game saver or just irritating.

There is one on data sorting before the enemy that fires the tracking missile.
That is a great place to have one if you dont know how to avoid those missiles. But I had to discover it by accident.

I'm not sure what would improve this.

What was cool:

When I realized the intermission screen WAS an overview of the actual map.
I didnt see it until I got to data sorting.

The city reminded me of a monochrome mainframe (from Reboot.)

The health bars above your enemies heads.

Reminds me of berzerk.

What would I like to see:

More puzzles than just find disk and open ports.
The data sorting train puzzle was a great way to add something new.
I hope this continues with other more complex elements.

The next two are really about design choice. They may not fit the style of the game.

Perhaps interact with the background structure a bit more.
Like you see a structure in the distance on one map, then later you get there and proceed into the structure. Basically I wanted to go in the part that looked like a movie theater.

Elements besides guns, ammo, enemies, disks, terminals, etc.
Yes, I'm talking about visual fluff that doesnt enhance essential game play.
This isnt part of the game critique, its just one of my preferences.

Maybe a digital version of a fern, mushroom or some growing plant - with a growth cycle. Or stainless steel rats! There are 2 games that have really impressed me in this respect - Half Life 2 and Unreal.

And there are two views on this: "Anything not essential takes away from game play" and "that extra little detail makes the game more exciting."

***

Note: this review was revised after some issues running under linux were fixed.
For linux do this:

drop the latest linux darkplaces into the Hazard folder (where you see the Clu sub-folder) and run with:

darkplaces-glx -game Clu

10

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Game review

The second mission after Half Life 2.

Valve did another great job. Solid gameplay. And the minute details in this game are incredible.

And its great to get out of City 17...well whats left of it anyway.
Gordon Freeman has to be one of the most destructive theoretical physicists I have ever heard of.

I think the best thing I can add in way of a review, is that is is nice to see the mission continuing so fluidly and purposefully.

Some added elements to the HL2 adventure really shine.

I can think of one thing to add though...

With Gordon being so silent, and a bit of somewhat dull NPC dialog -
what about some Monty Python humor?

Oh, there is plenty of opportunity.

Moddb.com

I found myself sticking things in NPC's heads to liven things up.

If you dont have this or Episode 1 - or any of HL2, go for a bundle.

The HL2 game-verse is thoroughly enjoyable.

10

Minecraft

Game review

Minecraft - part world builder, part survival FPS...

There was a long and comprehensive review here!
Where in Notches name did it go?!

Really. Really! If you click outside this review frame by accident - the whole thing just disappears.
I give the review dialog system a zero... 0 / 10 - this just sucks.

You could read all about my impressions, advice and hints, but the stupid moddb review system trashed it. So, what follows is all you get.

Now, Minecraft - well thats just awesome fun.

My rating - I spent an entire month of free time playing it when I first got the beta. It is that addicting.

And some people think the graphics are not that great - you need SEUS - go here: Minecraftforum.net
Go here for crafting hints: Minecraft.gamepedia.com
See what other people do with it: Planetminecraft.com

This game is worth a few hours of your time - try it and you will like it.

8

Hoard

Game review

Hoard reminds me of an 80's arcade game: Dragon Spirit.

Arcade-museum.com
Where you play a dragon flying around to save a princess from some dude.

Hoard is a lot of fun.

Burning crops, villages, carts, wagons, knights, castles.
Most any game where you can burn everything to the ground is fun.

Where Hoard shines is the strategy. Collecting gold, using powerups, increasing stats, and using various game elements to win.

Graphics and audio are both excellent.

So, why did I take away 2 from a perfect 10?

1 - tweaks & configs

Damn load screen does not remember jack! If you are playing treasure mode on a selected map as a red dragon - when you exit back to the load menu...it freaking forgets that. You have to set all 3 options every time.

And there are no tweaks. You cant modify timings, percentages, change the music (guess I'll have to go old school, turn off the music and find my own soundtrack...but that wont sync with the game) - at least the game tune is pleasant. You cant modify controls either besides selecting which to use...Hello big sandwich, keyboard and mouse users like to reconfigure things.

Which leads to:

2 - no SDK or mod kit

I suppose being mostly an FPS guy with respect to modern games, I expect map making tools, and easy graphics and sound changes. Perhaps this was designed as a console game - but when you release on PC, I have some expectations.

Where could the game be improved? (Say in Hoard 2.0...)

Music and background themes relating to: the game type and weather theme.
And selectable run tracks - including import your own.

Configurable controls, and tweaks for single player.
Tweaked games of course would only be on a local leaderboard and not the online one.

Map maker and graphics packs.

But for me the big one would be - more heads on the dragon!
Check out the pics for dragon spirit - powerups give you 2 or 3 heads.

Hoard is well worth the full price, but if its on sale or in a bundle, just grab it.

9

Abyss of Pandemonium

Mod review - 1 agree

Until a couple weeks back, I had no idea this mission pack even existed.

I played through Armagon and Dissolution several times. Both are excellent.

So far I have gone through the 6 maps of episode 1.
They are solid - this is an excellent follow up to mission packs 1 and 2.

On hard skill weapons, ammo, armor, and enemies are well balanced.

There is one thing I really like, however.

Logistics!

Whats that you ask?

Crates...some maps have enough crates.
Not since Doom have I seen many FPS maps with enough crates...

They say an army travels on its stomach.
When our boys (and girls) go afield, do you think those MREs pack themselves along?

Any dimensional invasion, hostile takeover, or marauding army is going to need supplies. And those supplies come in crates.

In fact, I took one point away from 10 because I could not find any crates that open!
However, I am still impressed by the crates represented on a few of the maps.
Congrats!

Logistics and attention to detail aside, this mission pack is worth your attention.
I feel most all FPS players will enjoy it.

9

Irrlicht 3d Engine

Engine review

Just beautiful. Love the fires.

9

Return of Shadow

Mod review

I am not at all familiar with this game (having never played it...)
And with the caveat that I know not what the engine does for the mapper, I must state the maps presented here look amazing!
Some may not think it proper I give a rating to this, but I will make this known - you get 9 of 10 for knowledge of Middle Earth, and your dedication to the task.
I'm considering getting the game just to run this mod, perhaps when it nears a more complete state.
To the complaints I give you this - it is a beta release. Such are often buggy and incomplete. Be patient, it looks grand.

9

Half-Life

Game review

Half Life was responsible for showing us 2 things.

1. An FPS could be more than run, shoot, run, shoot, shoot, shoot, what? A locked door...crap, go back and find the key. More run, shoot, run, run, shoot.

2. The Quake (one) engine could look that good, and do all that cool stuff.

Half Life started out with a plausible story line. To get through, you needed strategy. If you were a "run in a room and blast everything guy", you had to learn to sneak through some areas.

We were introduced to non enemy characters that served some purpose! In past FPS if it moved in a game, it was your enemy. Or it was just window dressing. Now we have Barney. Thanks Valve.

No cut scenes.

And you had more enemies than the Aliens. A govt. mandated clean up crew (Marines and black ops assassins) sent in to clear the facility and eliminate all hostiles and witnesses! (One could argue that Quake and Doom both have zombified former humans...but they were not following our govt. orders - a consequential story line difference.)

Puzzles were more than just get 3 keys in the right sequence. Or find a non (as far as getting through the level) relevant secret area with the extra goodies.

En.wikipedia.org(video_game) ->
"According to Teasley, they wanted Half-Life to "scare you like Doom did". Newell felt that "Half-Life in many ways was a reactionary response to the trivialization of the experience of the first person genre."

Could it get better?

Yes - the sequel is Half Life 2. An even more awesome game:

Moddb.com

And now, we have this:

Release.blackmesasource.com

What is that? A chance to replay the original in the blazing beauty of the engine that drives the Half-Life 2 world! Woo.

10

Doom

Game review - 7 agree

Doom.

This was not the FIRST first person shooter.
(Check this link: Arcade-museum.com - technically [ it uses an over the shoulder view - chasecam anyone ] that is an FPS, from 1987!)

But Doom is very special.

Doom has something. An edge. Some stuff that modern games lack.

Graphics - at the time (circa 1993), an amazing game world was rendered (and on a common PC screen.) From non 90 degree walls, to many various textures, and architecture, Doom showed us something not seen to date.

Weapons - shotguns, machine guns, rockets, sci-fi guns, and some melee weapon. This versatile armory has defined multiple generations of FPS arsenals! I dare you to find one FPS since that doesnt have some derivative of this weapon set.

Opponents - A varied bestiary from the depths of hell. What more could you ask for. A despicable enemy and the fire power to take them down. Brutally.

But Doom has 2 even more important elements.

Atmosphere - with a combination of sound and lighting Doom presented a feel no previous game world had. I found the creepiest thing to be running into imps in dark hallways. They werent the games badest foes, but they made up for it with their creep factor. Especially in the dark.

Fun - Doom was outrageous fun. Many modern games could be improved by taking a page out of the Doom bible. And its still fun.

What Doom brought to the table was pure awesome, and few games since compare.