Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dino D0Day Review

Game: Dino D-Day
Year (s): 2011
Company: dev. 800 North and Digital Ranch
pub. 800 North and Digital Ranch
Engine: Source
Type: Shooter, Multiplayer
Viewpoint: First-Person
Metacritic Score: 53

Price (as of September 29, 2013)

Regular list price on Steam: $9.99
Not available anywhere else.

Obligatory Trailer:

The Concept

The Nazis have dinosaurs! Rigged up with guns and explosives, Dino D-Day introduced a ridiculous, fun idea for team-based deathmatch and control point combat.

The Execution

The dinosaurs are fun, but the human characters are nothing exciting. The Allies only have one dinosaur character. Bot support was added, but the AI was not very good and this negatively affected the game. Bots do not go after objectives, and are much more difficult to sneak up on (two of the dinos are all about sneaking).

For a couple of years, there were a dozen or so dedicated servers. In the heyday, one server would be populated, and the rest empty or only with one or two players. There are no longer ANY dedicated servers.

A single-player campaign was promised to come, and would help players learn how to use some of the characters. Now that the servers are gone, I doubt this will happen.

As far a mods go, Dino D-Day is up there. It does something new, and has some humor. As far as games go, Dino D-Day is pretty lacking. The novelty of dinosaurs can't make up for lack of servers and crappy bots.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

BioShock Infinite Review

Game: BioShock Infinite
Year (s): 2013
Company: dev. Irrational Games
pub. 2K
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Type: Shooter with some RPG elements
Viewpoint: First
Metacritic Score: 94
My Score: 7 out of 10

Price (as of September 23, 2013)

Regular list price on Steam: $40
Lowest Buy-It-Now on eBay (new, with shipping): $20

My Game Time: 22 hours first time on normal (may be inflated due to being paused for long periods)

Obligatory Trailer:

See Also

BioShock Review:
BioShock 2 Review:

The Good

BioShock Infinite starts out with the player traveling to the city of Columbia. In the early 1900's, Columbia is a marvel that floats on balloons and has great steampunk technologies. The player explores this fantastic setting for a bit, then the authorities start attacking him for reasons unknown (for almost the entire game). The first taste of the game reminded me of City 17, and the graphics are solid. Very Compelling Setting.
Combat controls are steamlined, and hitting a button tells you where to go if you get lost.

The Bad

I got bored with combat. Initially, you're murdering the police, and that's unsettling. Eventually, you're killing every faction of the city. If you run low on ammo, The Girl gives you more, so combat is pretty easy. If you die, you respawn, further simplfying things. The sniper rifle is best, as most areas are wide open. I found the Sky Line (sort of like a personal roller coaster) to be an interesting idea, but poorly integrated in regards to combat.

On a major note, Infinite is terribly written. Initially, there is no explanation of things. After about five hours, the players says he was sent to smuggle The Girl out to pay off a debt. Shortly thereafter, the player hops to alternate dimensions (with no way to get back) in lieu of solving problems in the current one. Being in an alternate dimension should bring into question what you're trying to accomplish exactly, but strangely, this is not mentioned. The ending pissed me off, and ultimately gives us a mess of plot holes, when we'd been expecting plot twists.

The Verdict

I really liked BioShock. BioShock 2 had a different developer; they made some poor choices for us color blind folk, but I didn't hold it against the franchise. BioSchock Infinite is the only game for PC I have ever payed full price for, and I was severely disappointed with the 10-year-old-boy writing quality. It's critcally accliamed, but that doesn't matter. The great setting is wrecked by abominable writing. The streamlined combat is too easy, offers nothing new, and so we're left with a highly acclaimed, annoyingly mediocre game.
I suppose it might be worth it if you get it on the cheap, but don't expect to be impressed.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Su-Chi Deck

Years ago, I built a black/artifact deck on the cheap.  The basic premise was Su-Chi + Culling the Weak = Big Mana.  Spirit of the Night, Baron Sengir, Patron of the Nezumi... I used whatever I had at the time.  It was a hit or miss deck, as it required having  1.  something to sacrifice  2.  something to sacrifice it to, and 3.  something to do with the mana.

I have rebuilt the deck, now also including white, for more synergy.  Big creatures now (mostly) bring my sacrificial creatures back or do something mean when one of my creatures dies.  A bad shuffle can still result in a failure of the 1+2=3 premise, but it's better now than it was before.  Deck list:

Su-Chi Deck
60-Card Format
Black, Whtie

4 Myr Moonvessel
4 Cathodion
4 Su-Chi
2 Priest of Gix

4 Ashnod's Altar
4 Soldevi Adnate
4 Priest of Yawgmoth

4 Butcher of Malakir
4 Bringer of the Wite Dawn
2 Repear from the Abyss
1 Shoeldred, Whispering One
1 Reya Dawnbringer
2 Angel of Despair


1 Phyrexian Tower
Multicolor Lands