Monday, September 20, 2010

Should-Play PC Shooters

I have made a list of PC shooters that I would highly recommend to anyone at all interested in the genre.  In no particular order:

Fallout 3

This game is really the culmination of the FPS RPG genre.  There are many different ways to play through the game, lots of different weapons, very long gameplay, good voice acting that includes Liam Neeson, and above all, a fifties-era mentality in a post apocalyptic world.  Did I mention the forty-foot tall, anti-communist Freedom Prime robot?  Good times.


One of the first non-spite shooters, but that's not why it made the list.  Quake is engagingly difficult, any enemy can kick your ass.  The most common enemy has a grenade launcher and a chainsaw.  With a loosely Lovecraft-based story and various traps to keep you on your toes, this game aged well.


Fantastic storytelling and voice acting, Art Bell, and gobs of creativity.  You'll be walking on floors, wall, and ceilings; gravity is not constant.  Oh, and the composer for the music has won awards, as he should.  The music really helps to make this a very evocative, powerful game. 

Unreal Tournament 2004

This has the most game types of any Unreal Tournament game.  While the single player campaign isn't too thrilling, the Instant Action and multiplayer options are great.  This is the easiet game to LAN I have ever played.  Bots are easy to adjust, and there are lots of fan-made maps in addition to those that come with the game.  Also, this is one of the most stable game engines I have ever encountered.


This game has a good length, and a great story that has led to a franchise.  This is a game that really went after secondary fire with a vengeance.  I've played through this game at least twenty times, and I still like it.

Doom 3

If you've never played this before, Doom 3 has jump scares that'll, well, make you jump.  As much as able, while sitting.  The PDA functions of this make it more realistic and immersive.  The attention to darkness keeps players on their toes (I DO NOT recommend the flashlight patch if you want to get the whole experience).  Overall, an intense shooter with great visual effects and a solid story.

Halo : Combat Evolved (the first Halo game)

This is the first of the Halo franchise, and, apparently, has the most solid story.  Game length is decent, there are many intense firefights, and the voice of Master Chief is none other than Steve Downs, Chicago classic rock station The Drive's very own deejay!  The story in this game is awesome, and the soundtrack is memorable.

Half-Life 2

For those that didn't play the first Half-Life, this has little to do with that!  So it's easy to just jump right in to this game.  There is a fantastic story and very well developed characters.  The graphics were ground-breaking and are still good.  It's easy to lose track of time will playing this.

For anyone wondering why Doom, Wolfenstein, etc are not on here, have you played them recently?  I played Doom all the time back in the day, because there was nothing else to do.  I played it a few months ago, and it was more of a chore than a fun time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Legendary Review

Game:  Legendary
Year:  2008
Company:  dev. Spark Unlimited, pub. Gamecock Media Group et al
Engine:  Unreal Engine 3
Type:  First-Person Shooter
What I Paid:  $0.  Came free with my DVD drive


In Legendary, you are a thief that tries to steal Pandora's box and inadvertently opens it, spilling all sorts of monsters out in to the world.  The bad guys want to control the creatures and use them to rule the world.  The good guys want to destroy the box.  So while you're getting shot at by the bad guys, you're also dealing with werewolves, fire drakes, minotaurs and so on.  The ending is cool.

General Comments

Spark Unlimited was founded by people that had worked on the Medal of Honor franchise.  They have only developed three games, the most well known a Call of Duty title.

Unfortunately, lack of attention to detail ruin the game.  There are NPCs that can be walked through.  If you swing your axe at them, it sounds just like when you hit concrete.  There are a couple of simple puzzles, but they're so non-intuitive they're just frustrating.

What is Unique?

The combination of modern times with mythological monsters is cool, and the monsters look great.  The boss fights are epic.  While fighting normal enemies and trying to activate scattered machinery, a golem is punching holes through buildings and trying to step on you.  A kraken knocks down Big Ben before you get to pummel it with rockets.


You get an axe, and two guns, similar to FEAR and other titles.  This game uses check-point saving, so no quick saves.  Though there are probably a dozen or so different kinds of enemies, there seem to be more werewolves than anything else.  Chopping their heads off actually gets to be tedious.  There are about half a dozen weapons, and they do not adhere to the "equal, but differently useful" philosophy.  Lack of ammo limits use of the most powerful weapons.

Legendary has a simple magic system.  You kill monsters, you get energy.  This can be used to push enemies (not very useful) and to heal yourself. There are no med kits.  Killing humans does not give you energy.

Final Thoughts

Some copies of this (such as mine) have a fatal coding error that makes it impossible to reach the last area and beat the game.  There is no patch for this, and starting from an earlier save or starting over entirely is ineffective.  This and other things that should have been addressed by play testers make the cool story and nice graphics crash and burn.  I would not recommend paying money for this game.

Spark Unlimited is currently working on their fourth game.  There are currently no details.  Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another Dragon Deck

straight red, type one, sixty cards.  a bit of an improvement over the last one, i'd say.

4 kilnmouth dragon
4 two-headed dragon
4 rimescale dragon
2 Hellkite Charger
2 Furnace Dragon

4 Dragonspeaker Shaman
4 Urza's Incubator
4 seething song
4 Rite of Flame

2 Browbeat
2 Glacial Crevasse
4 Crucible of Fire

20 snow covered mountain

I'd also like to say that, based on the spoiler so far, Scars of MIrrodin looks pretty freakin' badass.