Archives for September 2012

Weekend Gaming

It’s going to be another Borderlands 2 weekend for me. I’m actually contemplating an early afternoon of work so I can get some Borderlands 2 in while the kids are at school and I’m actually 100% awake. Being a busy adult sure has cramped my gaming time. It doesn’t help that we’re still trying to keep the kids away from the more violent games and Borderlands 2 definitely ranks up there with all the blood and headshots.

I’m also going to be digging into my Steam pile and possibly some Diablo 3. With all the changes and what not, I figured I’ll keep the lootfest from BL2 going with my Demon Hunter. It’s about time I find my first Legendary!

What will you be playing this weekend?

FTL: Faster Than Light Review [PC]

“Captain!” shouted Commander Woolf through crackling of the on-board communications system. “Multiple hull breaches in the rear compartments and I think we’ve got hostiles in th–”

An explosion erupted from the communications console throwing metal bits into the cabin and interrupting the Captain’s first officer. Cursing to himself the Captain flipped a few switches in an attempt to regain access to the sensor array.

It was no use, the system was gone and he was cut off from the rest of his ship.

His environmental systems had been destroyed venting O2 into space. His weapons systems were disabled and his shield generators were fried. The captain knew his situation was grim.

He looked down at the console splayed out before him. The lights were flashing every warning available but he didn’t care about any of them save one. That particular light flashed the ominous warning that signaled the end of his mission and the end of his life.

INCOMING MISSILE

As he looked through the clouded cockpit glass at the rocket heading his way he thought that he should be seeing his life flash before his eyes. His triumphs, his failures, his loves, and his family.

Instead he only saw the future of his people. With his destruction came the demise of his mission and the only chance this intergalactic war would end.

His last thought was of a single grim reality.

There would never be peace.

The missile found its target and all became quiet in the vacuum of space.

The Mission Ends

The Mission Ends

 


 

This is how most of your playthroughs of FTL will end: the complete and utter destruction of your entire crew. Yet for some reason the game compels you to continue sending them to their doom over and over again.

The Jump Selection Screen

The Jump Selection Screen

FTL is a superb “Roguelike-like” game that puts you in command of a starship tasked with the mission to cross the interstellar expanse to deliver a message that will end the rebellion and bring peace to the Federated galaxies. Each playthrough can take anywhere from a couple minutes to about an hour and a half.

The game follows a simple pattern. You choose a star system to jump to where a wide variety of random events occur.

Some are good. You can happen across shops that will repair and upgrade your ship for a small fee or you can stumble across a civilian ship that rewards you after you rescue it from certain doom.

Many are bad. The universe of FTL is a hostile place filled with aliens that want to destroy you and pick your spaceship clean of any materials they can find. Pirates will raid you, slavers will bombard you, and aliens bent on destruction will fill your hull with holes.

Your ship is controlled by energy which you can allocate throughout the ship to power critical systems. If a section is damaged you can reroute that power to other systems while your crew work to repair the damage.

You can find new crew members along your journey to help control your ship and there are a handful of races that have unique abilities. Some have a large amount of hitpoints, some are weak, some produce an energy that charges a single system.

Engaged in Combat

Engaged in Combat. It’s more exciting than it looks!

A large part of what makes FTL so satisfying is that while you may come across similar encounters no two playthroughs are exactly the same. The combination of all the elements mentioned really give you an authentic starship command experience.

The nerve-wracking tension brought on by the “Game Over” screen that roguelikes are famous for really encourage you to try and try again until you beat the game by making it to the end of the galaxy.

TL:DR; FTL is worth the price at 10 bucks and it’s a quick download. It’s a great game you can jump into and jump out of anytime. Give it a go and send that crew to their doom again and again and again and again…

In My Digital Hands

This is another one of those “been in my Steam Library forever but I finally downloaded it” IMDH, but of the little I’ve played of Gotham City Impostors, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Torchlight II – First Impressions

Torchlight II … I never played the first torchlight because the Diablo-esque video game genre always seemed to shine with MULTIPLAYER!

Thankfully they decided to listen to what the players want and added two multiplayer options (Internet and LAN). This is probably the thing that stood out the most to me. The problem I had with this was that I wasn’t able to register and create an account to use Runic’s game system. In all honesty I was hoping that it would be integrated with Steam but, it wasn’t…sadface.

FYI: I’m not going to be comparing this to Diablo 3 because everyone else is and I feel that every game should be judged by its own merits.

Anyway, on to the good stuff!

The gameplay is your standard button-mash fest but, it has several unique things that deserves some extra fanfare. Let me preface this by saying that I was privileged to have a brother who is a video game a·fi·ci·o·na·do and decided to buy the 4-pack that steam had on sale not too long ago. The first thing he told me about the game that sparked my interest was the ability to equip an item based on the level requirement OR the ability requirement. For example, you could use a weapon if you were lv 15+ or if you had 40 Str. This is a nice take on how to give multiple options for players to access different gear.

Another thing that I found very earlier in my time in the world of Torchlight II was that there are ‘Phase Beasts’ that will leave a portal behind after they die that will take you to a challenge world. An example is one that had 4 torches to light up in a specific order while you are being attacked from all sides and then once you complete this task…you are attacked by a boss! After killing this boss the screen was filled to the brim with gold and there were several dropped items that made the fight worth it.

I decided to pick the ‘Outlander’ class because I felt it would be good stealth/ranged class to play and so far the class itself has been underwhelming.

Take this with a grain of salt though, I haven’t made it too far into the game to make any judgement of the class but, I am really thinking of starting an ‘Embermage’ and seeing if it is more my style.

(Check out those flames!)

The boss encounters have been interesting – a decent challenge and a reward that fits.

I appreciate the fact that there are many hints at pop culture items in the game (Goonies!!!) and the art style.

The art is simple but, I really like it. The intro cut scene was a cartoon that looked really good and is a nice change of pace from the uber-realistic CGI with most AAA titles.

So far, I am digging Torchlight II but, I have a feeling that Guild Wars 2 will last me longer.

Time will tell…

Weekend Borderlands 2’ing

Or, alternatively “Weekend Torchlight 2’ing”.

I mean you could be playing something else, but why would you?

We won’t hold it against you, that’s for sure. But if you’re not going fall in line, what will you be playing this weekend?

In My Hands

Guild Wars 2: An Asura’s Tale (Part 1)

Hello Fellow Buttonmashers!

This post will be about an adventure I took as my Asura Elementalist with my Asura Engineer friend.

***Side Note: Look out for a post here on Buttonmashing, from that friend, soon.***

To start things off I was running around the Human starting area and bumped into this guy:

There were some others trying to kill the big guy, so I decided to help out! Firestorm anyone?

After the worm, I went to meet up with a friend in the Sylvari newbie area – basically a forest/jungle/plant area. Coming into the basin where we had planned to meet, this grabbed my attention. Yea, floating rocks!

My friend who had been waiting for me was already doing the ‘Jumping Puzzle’, as I later found out they were so named, and I joined in the fun. That was for the first five minutes, then ten, then I lost count. One thing that the ‘Jumping Puzzle’ taught me was that you pretty much have to turn off the option to double-tap a direction to roll/dodge. I don’t know how many times I had to start the jumping puzzle over again because I was moving ever so slightly in one direction and felt I could take one more step and then boom, off the edge. At a certain point you were so high up you died if you feel to boot.

In the end, I made it! Thankfully there was a chest at the end of the jumping puzzle to make my efforts a little more worth it.

Whoa whoa whoa…what’s this?!?

Lets see how far the rabbit hole really goes!

Wow, okay so it goes pretty far!

Like any good explorers, we decided to kill everything in the picture (sarcasm). The most annoying part was the flower mortars that bombarded us from all over – we were always trying to find where they shot at us from. From here we found a back entrance hidden in the bottom of a mountain that contained this area inside.

NEXT TIME!!! On An Asura’s Tale!

We delve into the murky waters of Ventry Bay!

Wreck It Ralph – Trailer #2

Weekend Gaming

The fall is upon and the deluge of good gaming is about the crest over the breakers and flood us with warm gaming goodness. But for now, it’s the calm before the storm.

I’ll be entertaining family visitors this weekend, but that hasn’t put a cramp in my gaming style before so this weekend shouldn’t be any different. I am getting really close to the end of Mass Effect 3 and have, above all obstacles, managed to avoid any spoilers to the ending. So with it this close, why did I download the latest DLC? And why does it always seem to be voodoo magic to get the DLC to actually be recognized in game? Either way, ME3 is my focus this weekend. That and whatever else Steam tries to sell me.

What will you be playing?

Guild Wars 2 – A good different

Yo Buttonmashers!

I have a little more free time than usual this week and it has allowed me to make this post about Guild Wars 2. Here are some of my thoughts on my experience in the first hours of the game.

First things first, the people at ArenaNet have their stuff together. Anyone who has played the first Guild Wars or has seen some of the beautiful concept art will know what I mean when I say video games can be considered art. I feel that the art team on Guild Wars 2 should be the winners of every award they can get for their wonderful work – regardless of the game itself.

Lets get to the game already!

It plays great. Currently it feels like an MMO without the subscription fee and that isn’t bad in my book. Something different from the first is that your weapon will determine what the first half of your skills will be. When you switch your weapon (2-handed, dual-wield two weapons of the same type, dual-wield weapons of different types) the skills will change and you will need to work on unlocking them by using the skills in line prior to them. Then the other half of your skills will be skills of your choice that you can unlock with skill points.

I have found that the easiest way to get skill points is to use the skill point events out in the world. One of these skill point events was as easy as clicking on a fountain of power and boom, you get your skill point. A second one of these was to kill a group of three bandits – one of which was named – and then you get your point. Its pretty straight forward but, rewarding regardless.

There are 8 professions and 5 races.

Races:
Official Name – My translation

Norn – Barbarians
Asura – Gnomes
Sylvari – Elves
Humans – Humans
Charr – Dogmen (they are one of the unique races that Guild Wars introduced)

Professions:

Warrior
Guardian
Engineer
Thief
Ranger (my choice at the moment)
Mesmer
Necromancer
Elementalist (Current champ! – I can summon elementals!)

I will say that the best thing I have found so far is the random events in the world. You could be running along minding your own business and out of nowhere there is an event. Luckily in writing this post I logged in to look for some awesome scenery to show everyone and low and behold I encounter an event.

This first picture is me running into an event where people were taking down an Oakheart,

After checking out the battle and throwing a few arrows into the mix, I continued on to find a better screenshot for all of you.

I guess I should warn you, if you don’t want to have part of the game spoiled for you by reading the rest of this post.
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SPOILER!!!!
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OK!

That’s when I happened upon the swamp and noticed something through the trees that began to roar in the voice of the Balrog from LOTR.

What's that?!?

I decided to grow a pair (mostly because the death penalty is minor – repair some gear and start over at the closest waypoint, plus events like these are like akin to, ” a moth to a flame” to quote a friend) and venture into the madness. Needless to say the ‘Shadow Monster’ was NOT happy.

ROAR!!!!!

The fight continued for a good 4 – 5 minutes, I even got knocked down once. Thankfully, ArenaNet added the ability to be revived by anyone – effectively removing the need for a “Cleric/Healer” class and makes the game flow a lot better in my opinion then the standard MMO fare. Even shadow monsters go the way of the Earth and it was defeated!

Timber!

To my surprise, as this was my first BIG BOSS world event, there was a huge chest left where the monster had stood and it was waiting with treasures all for me!

Ooooo shiny!

The PvE (Player vs Enviroment) has not disappointed me in the slightest. The world is huge and there is plenty to do, you can look for vistas, quest, grind, event hop, etc. that I think I’ll be busy for a while. I haven’t even scratched the surface of PvP (Player vs Player) or WvW (World vs World) where three servers are pit in a battle against each other, fighting for control of forts, with siege weapons, hot oil to burn attackers from the turrets, etc.

I’m just starting out but, let me know if you’re in-game! Dragonbrand server.

You know what…I think I’m going to hop in now and get back to it.

See you inside!

(More to come – Next up:Rock JUMPING!)