Archive for Play This

Rock Band 3

Well, it’s finally out, so I can talk about it.  The game that I spent so many hours, many of which were OT hours, testing this summer was Rock Band 3 for the Wii.  I tested it for essentially the full duration of the project.  Now, I know you’re thinking that seems really awesome,but you have to think about testing the unfinished game, not playing the finished one.  For example, before all 1000+ DLC songs and all the regular songs were in, we had to test about 5 songs over and over again for 40 hours a week.

That being said, this was by far the best job I have ever had.  The company paid well, the facilities were amazing, and I actually enjoyed the game.  Also, the people that worked there were nice and fun to talk to while testing the game.  Thanks Foundation 9 Entertainment 🙂

Here’s a site with the credits (Including me – Ctrl + F for Kankiewicz):

http://www.rockband.com/credits

Here’s the picture of me from the credits:

Paul Kankiewicz

Minecraft

minecraft1Game Name: Minecraft
Publisher: Markus Persson
Developer: Markus Persson
Platform: PC
Website: Minecraft Website

Minecraft is a sandbox game in which the player mines up tiles such as wood, dirt, stone, etc. and crafts items using these tiles.  It is an extremely addictive game, especially if you have friends to play with.  Minecraft is currently in its Alpha stage, meaning not everything is finished yet, but it is still extremely fun.

I will not point out most of the things  that I see wrong with Minecraft seeing as it’s still in Alpha.  One point I would like to make is that while it is still in Alpha, the price is half what it will be once it finally releases, so if you think you may get it, you had better purchase it before the price doubles.

Rather than explaining more about the game, I would just like to show some things that you can do with the game based on what I have done as well as what other people have done.

Here are two pictures of my (Unfinished) Castle Oblivion, made almost completely out of obsidian and glass:

Castle_Oblivion2

Castle_Oblivion1

Here are some links to what other people have done (Some of which I believe to not be possible any more, though I could be wrong):

Addiction Redefined!

Pac-Man

Nintendo Characters

Bigger than my castle 🙁

Solace – A DigiPen Game

As some of you may know, I currently go to DigiPen.  As such, I may be a little biased when looking at other DigiPen games and recommending them.  However, I literally almost cried when I played this game (And trust me, if you know anything about me that’s a feat).  I’ll be the first to admit that the gameplay itself is not anything truly spectacular, but the way that the emotion in this game shines through to the player is extraordinary.  Play it and see for yourself.  Solace can be downloaded here.  The first download option didn’t work for me, but the second one worked fine.

Quotes from some of the comments left on the game:

“This game is like pixelated cocaine…i can’t stop playing it…”

Person 1: “I have to admit, this is the first “female oriented” game I actually kinda like. Must be the horse head decapitations at the end.”
Person 2: “Are you kidding this is the manliest game OF ALL TIME”

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

If you haven’t heard of Starcraft… well… what are you doing here? o.O Anyway, recently, as you probably know, Blizzard released Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. My roommate and I were both betting on it being the best game of… well, basically ever thus far. It seems to be well on its way of doing just that. From the article (Found here):

“We’re pleased to announce that within one day of being on sale, StarCraft® II sold more than 1 million copies worldwide, making it the bestselling PC game of 2010 in under 24 hours of availability. By the end of the 2nd day, it had sold a total of 1.5 million copies worldwide, setting the record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time. We want to thank everyone who turned out for the midnight launch events around the world, and everyone else who has already picked up or downloaded a copy of the game, for making StarCraft II the biggest PC game launch of the year.”

Robokill – A Smash TV-like Flash Game

I was looking around the internet for some fun flash games to play the other day and I came across a game call Robokill. After playing only a small portion of this game, I immediately thought of the Super Nintendo game called Smash TV. In Robokill, you run around a series of rooms and defeat all of the enemies in your path to complete an objective for each mission. The game has a few fun customization options (Different weapons / utility items), random items that drop, and is actually quite challenging. The items that drop can have random effects on them (Such as freeze or pierce), which adds some more randomness to the game. The first few missions can be played for free here. However, if you want to play the rest of the game, you do have to pay for it 🙁

Level Up! – A Game and a Book!

I originally read about the book “Level Up!” by Scott Rogers from his Blog, Mr Boss’ Design Lair. While the book is not out yet, and thus I cannot speak about how good it actually is or not, I must say I am quite excited about this book (Which is surprising, because I cannot remember a time in all my life that I have been excited for ANY book to be coming out!). In short, the book is about how to be a game designer, and how to design games to make them enjoyable to the user. Sounds good, right? The link to preorder it can be found here. Preorder it if you are as excited for it as I am!

At any rate, while googling for this book, I found a flash game called Level Up! (It can be found here. Go play it, before I accidentally spoil something :-D) In this game, your abilities level up as you use them. I had been thinking about making a game similar to this for quite some time, though I was planning on doing it to a space shooter game, where the weapons you use would level up as you use them, as would your ship’s agility, defense, etc.

I thought this leveling up mechanic was cool, and very much enjoyed the start of the game. However, (Spoilers coming…), at the end of a day in the game (About 5-10 minutes of playing), all of the levels for your abilities reset to level 1 if you lose to a boss creature, who is near impossible to beat without abilities that can be purchased throughout the game with crystals (Collectibles). That being said, any abilities that you purchase throughout the game stay with you, as well as remaining crystals at the end of the day. Also, if you lose this fight, all of the crystals reappear throughout the level, allowing you to collect them many times.

All in all I would say this is a pretty fun game, however, my roommate had a very different experience while playing through the game, and had a different view on the game.

Super Mario Bros. Crossover

A friend just sent me this link. I thought it would make for a pretty fun game:

Super Mario Crossover

I’m Back! – Free MMORPGs: Flyff, Rappelz, Runes of Magic

Sheldor back online!

Sorry for such a long AFK time. I finished school, went on vacation, and got a second job as a video game tester at Foundation 9 Entertainment / Griptonite Games (Now I’m working 7 days a week).

Anyway, my friend, my roomate, and I have been looking for games that all three of us can play. We’re all really into RPGs, so while we wait for Diablo III to come out (Which, unfortunately, will not be anytime soon), we decided to check out some free MMORPGs. Here’s what we found, in order from worst to best:

Flyff_Unofficial_PC_Cover_by_DarkiqueGame name: Flyff
Publisher: Gala-Net/gPotato.com
Developer: Aeonsoft
Platform: PC

Flyff is a good MMORPG for people that don’t play video games much, at least from what I could tell in the short time (Level 10ish) that I could tell. The monsters drop candy, the graphics are fluffy, and the gameplay seemed to be quite easy, although tedious. I only got 2 skills, and one of them actually did less damage, because it takes a long time to wind up, so auto attacking would do more damage. There’s no pathfinding when you click to move, and if you get caught on a small object, it’s annoying to get unstuck. All in all, I wouldn’t suggest playing Flyff, as it seemed like it would just be a ton of grinding.

Game name: Rappelz
Publisher: gPotato.com
Developer: nFlavor
Platform: PC

My friends and I played Rappelz for a lot longer than Flyff, though we didn’t get to end game or anything like that. Rappelz seemed to be a lot more hardcore than Flyff, aimed at your average gamer. From what we looked up, they have end game content, as well as decent PVP (There are three different factions). The skill system seemed to work well, and there is a cool combat pet system in which every class gets a pet. One problem that we saw with Rappelz is that there was one area (A ghost ship) that was ridiculously hard, even though there were three of us and it was a low level area. Also, as far as we can tell, only one class gets the ability to heal their pet, and when your pet dies, it doesn’t come back with full health. This would require the other classes to either wait for their pet to heal, or just not use their pet. Once again, we didn’t play this one all too much, but that’s what we could figure out.

runes-of-magicGame name: Runes of Magic
Publisher: Frogster Interactive, Frogster America
Developer: Runewaker Entertainment
Platform: PC

Runes of Magic is the game we are currently playing, and will probably be playing until Diablo III comes out. RoM is basically WoW, but a little bit less polished. The skill system is a little bit different, and there are no talent points (So as far as I can tell most characters will be the same come end game). Also, there’s a dual class system which seems a little funny at first, but you get used to it. There are a few things that I think RoM actually does better than WoW. For example, a lot of quest items / enemies are highlighted on your mini map, you can put markers on your map for quests by right clicking tags in the quest log, and you can run toward certain quest tags by right clicking on them in your quest log as well. Other than that, the game is pretty much the exact same as WoW – quests, kill enemies, get professions, go through zones, etc. I haven’t found out how PVP works in RoM yet, but I think it’s just kill whoever you want starting at a certain level, which wouldn’t be that great in my opinion. I HIGHLY suggest playing RoM, especially if you want to play WoW, but you don’t want to / can’t pay for WoW.

Gears of War Review

Gears_of_WarGame Name: Gears of War
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Platform: PC / XBox 360

What I liked about it:

A few weeks ago, my roommate and I played through the first Gears of War, and I must say, it was a night full of fun! While I was testing at Microsoft a few summers ago, a friend of mine was testing Gears of War 2. At the time, I had no clue that Gears of War was so much fun!

Gears of War has a very interesting and fluid cover system. The Gears of War team used context sensitive input to make the space bar perform different actions depending on what’s going on around you. Usually this is done poorly, so when you mean to perform one action, another action happens instead. In Gears of War however, I would say it did what I wanted about 95% of the time.

Another thing that I thought this game did that I haven’t seen too much of, yet I really liked, was universal ammo crates. This probably isn’t quite what you think though. When you pick up one box of ammo, it gives you ammo for each of your weapons, but each weapon uses separate ammo. For example, one box of ammo might give +150 machine gun ammo, +20 pistol ammo, and +4 sniper ammo.

I very much enjoyed the bigger enemies in the game as well, even though most of them were taken down using a super gun called the Hammer of Dawn, which essentially called a huge satellite to attack your target. Some of these bigger enemies are boomers, berserkers, seeders, and brumaks.

I absolutely loved the quirky remarks made by the characters, both in the cutscenes and the ambient dialogue. If you ever make a game, try and add stuff like that to further immerse the player.

Finally, I felt that the difficulty curve of the game was done very well. The game was hard at some points, but not too hard. The final boss is actually pretty difficult until you get the rhythm down, which is perfect for a final boss. In fact, I haven’t seen a more fun final boss battle than this in a long time.

What could use some improvement:

Overall, the game had a great look and feel to it. That being said, individual portions of the level looked very similar, so I kept getting turned around, especially with the motion blur while running. Which reminds me, when you run, there’s a little bit of a blur effect. Over the course of the game, this made my eyes hurt quite a bit. The game could have done without that, even though it was a cool effect.

The game was a little buggy. I got stuck on walls about three times, and had one out of environment experience (Which was actually pretty cool, because I had a good view of a cool looking city from where I was). Lucky for me, when your teammate gets to a checkpoint, you get teleported there.

I wish that the story was explained a little bit more. There is a short cutscene if you stay idle at the main screen, but it doesn’t really explain that much. Once you start the game, it seems to assume that you know what a seeder is, or why you’re fighting against the Locust Horde.

All in all, I highly recommend playing through Gears of War, especially if you have a friend that can save you when the game glitches out.

League of Legends Review

1226004-league_of_legends_largeGame Name: League of Legends
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Riot Games
Platform: PC
Cost: FREE!!!
Website: http://www.leagueoflegends.com/

Ever played the Warcraft 3 mod DotA (Defense of the Ancients)? Who hasn’t? Well if you liked DotA even a minuscule amount, you should definitely think of giving League of Legends a try.

So what’s League of Legends like? Picture this: Take all the good parts of DotA, improve upon them, and throw all the bad parts away. That’s League of Legends in a nutshell. Essentially it’s the same thing as DotA, with different heroes and abilities, but better made.

I played DotA back when it was a little bitty baby (When the frozen throne meant a toilet in Alaska), and I absolutely loved it! However, once they started making DotA for Warcraft III’s expansion, The Frozen Throne, I lost interest in it. They packed the game with too many heroes and way too many item combinations.

League of Legends has a good number of heroes and came up with a great way to take care of complicated combinations. Essentially what they did is make a tree out of the items that you need to make the bigger items, with the biggest item at the root, or top of the tree. They made the interface simple, and that really helps in a fast paced game like League of Legends. Plus, it has a cool acronym, LoL.