Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shadowrun really does Return

Shadowrun Returns is out. While other high profile Kickstarters make headlines due to delays, Harebrained Schemes stuck to their proposed release date – more or less – and have made an RPG in just over a year. That's pretty impressive. Of course a lot of the work has already been done as the lead designer Jordan Weisman helped create the Shadowrun setting twenty odd years ago.

I first heard of Shadowrun about seven years ago when I started playing pen and paper RPGs. Its mix of cyberpunk and Tolkien intrigued me. I even came up with a concept of a sword wielding elf street samurai who was ex-corp. But for some reason my gaming group never got round to playing the actual game.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians preview

Beatbuddy was a game that I first played at Rezzed, and if I'm honest with you guys, it's because it was next to the Space Hulk booth and they'd been emailing a lot before the convention. Despite this rather dubious beginning, I'm glad I did give it a go, because it's a really fun sidescroller. Unfortunately, I had so much on when I first got back that I didn't get chance to write about it until well after my thoughts had faded on it. Luckily Thr3aks had preview code ready, so I played it again - and saw more of it - and then wrote about it.

Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians preview

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The return of Mid-tier Games

Day late, sorry. I wrote this a while ago, round about when Blood Dragon came out, but I managed to get distracted by other work, so I'm posting it here instead. It's a subject I feel quite passionate about, which you'll hear if you listen to today's BeefJack podcast.

When this current gen of consoles started we saw a quick decline in a certain type of game. Not quite Triple-A, but with more budget behind them then your indie developers. These mid-sized studios were what gave the PlayStation 2 such a ridiculously large library of games.

But as development costs sky rocketed, it was no longer financially viable for publishers to try these games. Their budgets were practically triple-A, though the experience wasn't. So instead they threw the spare cash into the blockbusters and they got even more bloated... I'm getting sidetracked, where was I?

Friday, July 12, 2013

The original Star Trek movies

As part of my big Star Trek revival, I've decided to rewatch all of the TOS movies. I've not seen most of them since I was a kid, and knowing the reputation of some of them, I've bad mouthed them quite a bit. But I've realised I can't really remember them. I was probably under fifteen when I last watched them and that was, sadly, a long time ago. It was time I gave them another shot.

Slight giveaway about Star Trek Into Darkness is featured too. You have been warned.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Strategy Informer: Magrunner: Dark Pulse

I have never struggled with a review so much as Magrunner. I've played worse games (Marvel Heroes), but Magrunner just left me feeling completely uninterested. If I hadn't had to play it I doubt I'd have last five minutes. Anyway, for a full explanation as to why it's rubbish:

Magrunner: Dark Pulse review

Saturday, July 06, 2013

BeefJack: Deadpool Review

Another review, this time it's Deadpool. A character I loved up until Marvel realised that he was suddenly super popular and flooded the market. I got a bit of Deadpool fatigue, and Daniel Way's bit too wacky interpretation of the Merc with a Mouth was the final straw. Recently I've started looking back, and having read the first issue of Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn's new run it seems the comic might be back on the right track too.


Deadpool Review

Despite the score, I really did enjoy my time with Deadpool. It's not without its faults (which the review explains) but I'm enough of a Wade Wilson fan to not care. I enjoyed it. Just when it comes to recommending it to other people it becomes a bit harder, and really that's my job.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Strategy Informer: Tengami Preview

Finally there's another Rezzed article out. This time it's my quick playthrough of Tengami. It's hard to explain just what type of game Tengami is. Basically put you control a samurai walking through a pop up book... yeah that's not very clear at all, is it. Just go read my preview!

Tengami Preview

State of Decay thoughts

Zombies and videogames have always gone together well, partly it's because their AI is pretty simple to program (swarm the player) and enemies models don't need to be as distinctive as other enemy types. Another is that they are an unquestionable evil. In a medium where story telling isn't always the best, you need something the player will fight without question. Just like Nazis.

However, videogame zombies and zombie lore have always been very different beasts. Body shots count. You can usually get bitten and not really worry about it. That is until recently. Last year gave us The Walking Dead and Zombi U. My love of The Walking Dead has already been covered, but it was more a story in a zombie world then surviving in one. Zombi U on the other hand sounds a bit more like it. There, if you get bitten, you die and lose everything. Then take control of another survivor and you might just bump into your old guy, now the living dead. Kill him and claim your stuff back. Unfortunately it was on Wii U so not many have played it.

Meanwhile, three separate projects aim to give a real Zombie horror survival experience this year. Dead State, Project Zomboid and State of Decay. While Project Zomboid has released an alpha and is available to play in a early state, State of Decay is the first 'finished' one out.  Despite the name, it's more like you have an entire county to cover, with one large town and two smaller ones with various croppings of humanity scattered about. Here you are dumped with the most unlikeliest of survivors and told to survive. You can trade with other groups, head into any building in the entire county to scavenge, all while trying to keep you and your group alive.

It's brilliant.