Sunday, August 25, 2013


I stopped online multiplayer gaming for awhile back in 1999, I think, and I didn't really start back up until about 2003 or 2004 (shortly after XBox Live launched, actually).

One of the biggest reasons why I stopped was because my first few encounters with the "next generation" of elite online gamers was left me feeling like they only cared about number one. 

And today, I ran into that yet again.  Earlier this week, I declined someone from joining an open game of Dead Rising that I didn't even know was open - and it doesn't help that this is the default setting (so, anyone just downloading Dead Rising 2 for free by way of XBL's Games With Gold program, remember that).  His reaction was to cuss me out for it.

This is unacceptable behaviour to begin with.  If someone does something stupid, sure, it's okay to call them out.  But not with an F-Bomb.  Second, who are we to judge?

One of my favourite things about my gamer friends is that we only act like jerkbags with each other, we don't drop it on others. 

This is something to consider, especially since you never know who you're going to offend in a monitored community.  If you get enough proven complaints against you, you're no longer welcome - and this is definitely true of XBox Live.

The internet, has unfortunately, shown just how deep our yellow stripes can run, and it's more important than ever that gamers remember their "netiquette".  As games get bigger and the number of players increases, tensions are going to rise, sure. 

But if you don't pick your battles, you'll undoubtedly find yourself ostracised.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Going Retro

Well, a little.  Despite my currently healing ankle ( I rolled it back in June), I bring my laptop to work every once in awhile to play games.  I decided I'd give Shadow Warrior a go again, as it's been a few years.

Man what a great game!

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Shadow Warrior puts you in the shoes of Lo Wang, a ninja assassin who works for the shady Zilla corporation.  Zilla, however, made a deal with some demons and decided to have you killed off.  As you can imagine, that doesn't exactly fly with Lo Wang. 

Shadow Warrior uses a much enhanced version of Ken Silverman's Build Engine (in fact, I think he helped in the development of Shadow Warrior as well), and features climbing ladders, weapons with multiple functions, and even vehicles.  Unlike most Build games, Shadow Warrior also has a large focus on melee combat.

The original game sports 14 levels and there were two finished but unreleased expansions, Twin Dragons and Wanton Destruction.  Both expansions are available for free around the internet if you already have the game.  If not, you can get it from Steam or Good Old Games for a decent price (the GOG version also has both expansions).

While it's a build game, E-Duke currently doesn't support it, and most of the source ports for it aren't that great.  JFSW runs slow, and the other that I've found, Proasm's Shadow Warrior Port, has a problem with corrupting save files.  Not good.

However, it runs great in DOSBox and that's all that matters to me.  The original game, while short, is pretty stellar.  Of the expansions, I've only played Wanton Destruction so far, and while it's not quite as fun (mind you, that may be biased because I was using the Proasm port), the level design was fantastic.

I also just picked up Scurge: Hive for my DS, and I have to say, it's pretty decent.  I've only put a few minutes into it so far, but it's kind of like Alien Syndrome meets Secret of Mana. 

Other than that, I'm still playing a lot of Dynasty Warriors 8 and Defiance.  My goal with Dynasty Warriors 8 at this point is to clear the hypothetical story branches.  Once I have everything unlocked, I think I might go on a co-op spree.  With Defiance, I'm still whittling away at the missions.  There are a lot of them!

Also, the current XBox 360 Games With Gold title is Dead Rising 2.  So far, it's okay.  It's not blowing my skirt up, I'm getting flashbacks of Majora's mask with the time limit thing.  Hopefully it gets better as things go along or it'll be leaving my hard drive.  For those who know me well, you'll know I have little nice to say about Majora's Mask.

The last title, by the way, was Crackdown.  Hopefully you Gold account holders grabbed that if you don't have it.  It's a stellar game.

Speaking of games (when aren't I?!), time to get back to killing AI critters and taking names.  Keep your thumbs on your sticks and your fingers on the triggers!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Acquisitions And Still Slogging Away At Dynasty Warriors 8

Hey guys, how are you this unseasonably cool evening?

So, believe it or not, yesterday afternoon was the first time that I played Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Batman: Arkham Asylum.  Both solid games, as many who came before me already know, and probably feel the same way about the sequels that I haven't played, either.

K. and I headed down to Alliston to see what was what.  We went into a neat little bookstore where the owner kept her pet dog with her.  I think it was the first chihuahua I didn't want to kick.  Actually, a really sweet, not-yappy chihuahua; strange, I know.

Anyway, so, we hit the local Hock Shop (which is actually the company's name) to see the bargoons on games.  I picked up Arkham Asylum, Uncharted and Lego Rock Band, all with manuals for $10 plus taxes, and I grabbed Demolition Man for the SNES for $5.00.

It's one of my favourite movies, and for $5.00, I thought, sure, why the hell not.  It's not an easy game to find, either.  Well, I'm not going to lie, there are far better movie-based action games from that era.  True Lies, for instance, kicks the crap out of it.  So, I'm glad $5.00 is all I paid for it.

So, on to my progress with Dynasty Warriors 8, which, as you can tell by now, is a massive game.  I finally finished the entire Wei campaign in Dynasty Warriors 8; I'm now working on unlocking the alternate history campaigns, which is actually a good bit of work.

To do this, you have to complete the special objectives in the main history chapters.  These will sometimes unlock new side-chapters or "save" characters from their pseudo-historical fates for use later on, which also alters the historical campaigns as well.  They'll also open up side-missions.  Once everything has been unlocked, you'll be able to change the campaign flow at the designated chapter because you'll get two options as to whose battle plan you're going to follow.

It certainly makes things pretty interesting, to say the least.

I also have the Ambition mode nearly finished, but I'm going to start playing with weapon fusions soon.  Plus, Ambition mode is so damned addictive, probably because each mission is generally a short loot-fest.  In, out, done, and then you get more rewards back at camp.  It's very fun, and the higher the difficulty, the better.

I have to admit, I really like what Koei did with the A.I.; it hasn't been this aggressive since Dynasty Warriors 5.  It sucks that only the west got the tweak.  I can assure you, Koei, hardcore gamers want more than an interactive storybook.

I've also been playing a good bit of Defiance, and I have to admit...I'm getting kind of bored with it.  Progress, admittedly, isn't stagnating, but I'm barred from buying totally 1337 gear because my "reputation" stat isn't high enough. 

WTF is it, and how do I raise it?  Yeah, yeah, look to teh interwebz, I know. 

But it would have been nice if the manual the game came with outlined this instead of it showing me the controller buttons and then several blank pages for writing notes.  I mean, I'm not keen on buying it - which is clearly what Trion really had in mind (Bits, the game's currency, which you buy with real money to fast-track progress).

I also started playing a bit more of Starsiege.  So far, I'm on the fence.  The game definitely does not suck, even though it hasn't necessarily aged well.  I like that it's a bit more arcady than Mechwarrior, but you still have to grasp a thing or two about trajectory, and you need to understand the relationship to the energy needs of your equipment versus what the reactor in your HERC (The mechs in Earth- and Starsiege) can do.  At any rate, I'm at the 3rd mission, and I'm not hating it.

Now, K.'s asleep, which means it's prime-time for gaming.  So, keep your paddles in hand and have fun!