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  • Phokal 4:08 pm on February 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dark sector, games, , guyver, predator disc, violent games   

    Get hyped for: Dark Sector 


    Watch for: Dark Sector

    Normally, I go around and tell all my friends about hyped games, or games I think that just about anybody would like (if given a chance).

    Then there are the games that I follow that I don’t really tell anybody about. I don’t think everyone should play them. They probably won’t be 9.0+ games. But who cares? These are games I think look interesting to me, and you may think so too.

    To kick this off: Dark Sector.

    This game looks damn violent and damn fun. Two words: Guyver, and “Predator-disc-weapon.”

    Okay, so I cheated on that disc weapon. And it is doubtful anyone knows Guyver (either the anime, or the live action american films). I’ve seen large chunks of both. They are both awesome in a very 80’s action kind of way. Think Ninja Turtles movies, but with blades on the elbows.

    (More …)

    • Chue 1:16 pm on February 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      One thing that comes to mind is a little 1983 fantasy film by the name of Krull.

    • phokal 1:56 pm on February 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hah. it’s even called a Glaive in that movie, too.

    • hintzilla 10:10 am on February 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply


      the MP sounds interesting, but I’m afraid that it’s going to turn out to feel forced like the Darkness’. I remember reading about this game a while back and getting really excited about the disc and some of the cool things you can do with it. My favorite was limb removal.

  • Phokal 9:01 am on February 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , expansion packs, games, matrix, , sandwich, sequels, trilogies, yahtzee is funny   

    Trilogies – Engine reuse without the Guilt? 

    Matrix Revolution

    Trilogies – Engine reuse without the Guilt?

    Look. Not everything needs a sequel. Most things should not be designed with the intent of spreading out content. Yes, yes, episodic content is all the rage right now, but the development cycles aren’t there yet. Just look at Valve and their “HalfLife episodes 1-3 = HalfLife3” I bet you their next HalfLife sure as shit isn’t called HalfLife 4. Just because Lord of the Rings did it does NOT mean everyone should be able to sell the same thing 3 times. The reason LoTR did it is because it is a 12 hour movie. You offer me that much more substantial and new content in a trilogy and I’ll be pleased. The problem is: this isn’t happening. The 2nd and 3rd titles each have only a year of turn around, and are rushed to the holiday market. They lack the polish the original had, look and do no better than the original, and are only an extension. They aren’t a sequel, they are an expansion pack. See: amazing “Baldur’s Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal.”

    (More …)

    • mattlindh 3:58 am on February 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Your lustful male mind reeks of sexism.

    • Phokal 1:20 pm on February 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Pot calling kettle black.

      Or in this case, I’m the kettle, and you are the pot. A pot in deep space. At the center of a black hole. Constructed out of a rare mineral that also does not let light escape.

  • Phokal 12:49 pm on February 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: games, , , sword fighting sucks, things you can do in 1 hour, ,   

    I finally beat: Prince of Persia Classic 

    PoP Achievment

    I finally beat: Prince of Persia Classic

    Delayed, I know, but I did beat it a couple of months ago. In short order, even. It came out. I played it and had it done in just a day or two.

    Shut up. I know it is “just an hour long.”

    Well, Prince of Persia Classic hit Live just a while ago. A remake of quite an old game. Does it sand up to the test of time? <See that intential typo there?>

    (More …)

  • Phokal 5:13 pm on February 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andrew Monday, Andrew Ryan, , , comparison, games, , , stubbs the zombie, , zombies like boobs   

    Bioshock – The rich man's Stubbs the Zombie 

    Stubbs the Zombie

    Bioshock – The rich man’s Stubbs the Zombie

    Something has been bugging me since I finished Bioshock a few weeks ago. I realized that, while I enjoyed the environments, I hadn’t found them quite as interesting as everyone was saying. The outside vistas were amazing (the one time you got to see them at the beginning of the game, and the occasional look outside a window), but the inside’s art deco setting just was not as jaw dropping pretty as I wanted them to be.

    I have just realized: I played this game before. Outsider interloper from the past enters a Utopia built by a single man with a dream. Innate characteristic of foreigner brings change to society and pits character against enigmatic city founder. It a 1959’s retro/futuristic setting.

    “But wait, Phokal. Bioshock takes place in 1960.”

    “Your right, sir, but Stubbs the Zombie is placed in 1959.”

    (More …)

    • zazzman 10:13 pm on February 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      This may be a non sequitur, but I’m going with it anyway. I don’t know if you have seen anything about this, but George A. Romero has a new zombie flick coming out—Diary of the Dead. Check it out: http://www.myspace.com/diaryofthedead

      Speaking of our mutual love for zombie movies (well, and Graphic Novels, Video Gaems, etc.)…have you ever seen Romero’s Day of the Dead. I know critics say it is the worst of the “Dead” flicks but I really want to see it. We may need to have a zombie film fest. :)

      What do you guys think…is Day of the Dead any good?

    • phokal 10:30 pm on February 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      you should just make a ZombieFest – Dawn, Day, third? of the Dead post to cover all that. pick time(s), movies, etc.

      I’ve seen the first remake, and most of the original night of the living dead years ago.

      And I think I saw some of the original dawn or day…something where they were in a silo or cave. then the zombies broke out of the experiment cells.

      oh, and then there’s the awful one where the guy zombifies his dead girlfriend on purpose. he has access cause his dad works at the military and is running experiments on the zombie gas. very, very bad.

  • Phokal 1:22 pm on February 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: games, Homeworld, , my new pc can run this, omg! geek drool, sins of a solar empire, , total conversion   

    Homeworld 2 Mod makes Jump to Lightspeed 

    SoaSE Warlords Mod Super Star Destroyer

    Homeworld 2 Mod makes Jump to Lightspeed

    This will be amazing. I’ve seen this HW2 mod in action, and having it brought into a realtime 4x environment should be something to be excited for.


    Dubbed “Warlords” (worst descriptive name ever?), this mod turned Homeworld 2 into a star wars fleet command game. It features dozens and dozens of canon ships from the movies, books, and comics. Each were intricately detailed, scaled, and with accurate weapons fire and soundfx.

    If he brings just the models over to Sins for an upgrade for fleet commands and skirmishes, it’ll be quite nice. If he gets the 4x part introduced, recreating the galactic conflict on a multi-system scale…well,… that’ll just be damn impressive.

    Perhaps a even a system seller. It is hard to build deserved hype for mods. So many go on to unfulfilled promises. Others don’t go on at all, and are never released in a stable, easy to install state. But some go on to be the best games ever released (see: Team Fortress, Counter Strike, Tower Defense (Warcraft3)). I’m sure there are others I’m missing that are considered classics of gaming. This guy has already released his first mod for HW2, so he’s done it before. Here’s hoping he doesn’t have school/a kid/job/life get in the way of destroying our free time.

    Good Luck, Warlords guy (EvilleJedi?).

    • phokal 1:26 pm on February 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Just heard, they are planning a demo post 1.3 patch. So maybe in a month or so anyone can try the game (engine. system requirements.) without a purchase.

    • Cwohrle 3:40 pm on January 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Wait just a second..That is not HW2…That’s Clearly the GUI of SINS of a Solar Empire. I have that game..Love it, now I want the patch.

    • phokal 3:46 pm on January 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Yes. That was the point of the post. They are working on Warlords for Sins of a Solar Empire ;)

      Which, btw, is currently $20 at some brick&M stores like Target.

  • Phokal 1:22 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , games, ,   

    Orange Box for the PC = Same price as TF2 alone for PC 

    TF Sniper and Pyro

    Orange Box for the PC = Same price as TF2 alone for PC

    Alright, here is amazon’s deal of the day:


    It is Orange Box for the same price ($30) as Portal, TF2, or other parts are individually. If you were contemplating picking up just TF2 for the PC, now is the time to get it, and get the other games for free.

    via Cheapassgamer

    • phokal 1:23 pm on February 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      It’s back up to $50. If anyone has this, or any other steam games, let me know. We’ll trade steamid’s.

  • Phokal 1:05 am on February 12, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: books > games?, games, games > books?, , , story in games   

    Can games tell stories? Why or why not? 

    Can games tell stories?  Why or why not?

    What stops a game from telling a story? Why do some people play through the most craptastic turn based battle gameplay and horrible graphics to experience a story, while others cannot skip the briefest cinematic quick enough to get back to shooting nazis and terrorists? I think it is a safe assumption that most any gamer likes story (movies, tv, books), just not necessarily in their game.


  • Phokal 1:12 pm on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bungie, fighter punches mage, games, , listening to fans, melee, updating the game   

    Halo 3: Update 1 is fixing Melee 

    Headshot with brute pistol

    Halo 3: Update 1 is fixing Melee

    You all may not know, but Halo 2 was initially very broken. As in, not even that fun. Imagine, if you will, a Halo without melee damage. Melee damage was nominal, requiring several hits to take down an opponent. A hit to the back didn’t even kill. Grenade splash area was small, and damage was low. Everyone simply used two weapons because melee and grenades were useless, which subsequently removed all two handed weapons as well from many matches as being useful.

    Then bungie released Halo 2 version 1.1 (the only update released). The increased melee damage and grenade damage and overall tweaked the game to be more like Halo 1. This was great, and made Halo 2 my choice of lan game.

    Now, Bungie preps Halo 3’s first update. Amongst the fixes, they are changing melee. Currently, whoever has the most health wins melee matches. There is also <1 second delay that still lets slightly delayed hits count as simultaneous. This is to help lag. It is a very simple rule that leads to people shooting and running straight at each other, and then whoever fires first / is the better shot wins because he has more shields at the time of impact, and that almost every melee battle comes to this because the delay allows both players to always throw melee attacks into one of these tie-breaker battles.

    This will change.

    (More …)

    • hintzilla 8:12 pm on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I’m pretty eager to see these changes in effect. Halo whiners are some of the loudest in all of the internets, and I’m actually surprised that Bungie is throwing in a change of this magnitude.

      The melee issues are the most frustrating part of playing Halo 3 online, especially after being used to Halo 2’s system, even if it was largely based on latency and connection speed. Like the b.net update says, if you learned to just swing a bit early, it became second nature to get a few rounds out and then melee at the right moment. But I do think you bring up a good point in the fact that in nearly every other shooter, close quarters combat is rare to the point where it can be awkward when it does actually happen (ever run circles around a guy in COD4? Embarrassing.)

      The only other game I can think of that involves as much up close combat as Halo would have to Gears. The first few months of Gears of War online were nothing more than running around holding down the B button hoping an opponent would run into the thing. Then people discovered the power that the shotgun had when used the right way, and it became (and still remains) the ever frowned-upon noob’s choice. Anyways, getting back to Halo; every game is going to have one way of getting kills that is only slightly easier than the other methods, and it will be exploited to no end and looked down upon by the ‘hardcore’ fans. I give Bungie props for taking steps to do something about a feature of their game that the community protested. I can’t imagine that it’s very easy to admit defeat to the message board whiners, let alone actually go back and make changes to suit their impatient needs.

    • Phokal 9:49 am on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hah. Internet whinders. Hence the title of their post:
      “OMG Fix Mayleeey, Bungle!”

      It’ll definitely be interesting to see how this changes things. I know our matches involve full clips expended at each other, then a melee. If the Tool of Destruction is something other than a fist, it is weird.

    • hintzilla 4:31 pm on February 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, it’s funny when you get online, and if you’re on a big enough map, guys will just sprint at you as soon as they see you, squeezing the AR trigger until they get close enough for a bash. I’ve found that carrying a BR around and backpedaling when this happens nearly always results in a kill since your opponent is probably going to be going in a straight line at you, keeping him right where your BR scope hopes he is. As long as you see him coming early enough, his AR spray will not be enough to kill you by the time you get a good 4 or so BR shots off on his dome.

    • hintzilla 1:06 pm on February 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      i like the change thus far. it feels a lot more like halo, not sure how to explain it really. the melee just feels right.

    • phokal 1:36 pm on February 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      its out? niice.

      pLayday next week: Halo 3

  • Phokal 9:41 pm on February 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: games, go learn to play a real guitar and stop having fun, kareoke, party game, plastic guitar, ,   

    There is no ending to: Rock Band 

    Accordion Band

    There is no ending to: Rock Band

    Rock Band is a party game. The common complaints I have heard are that the difficulty isn’t high enough, and that the guitar controller doesn’t ‘click.’ These complaints seem to come mostly from people who like Guitar Hero. Both of these complaints are true: the difficulty is not as high as Guitar Hero 2, and the Guitar is harder to use on Expert Difficulty to hit quick notes. Both of these don’t matter as much as the fact the game is meant to be played with 4 people, each with a beer in hand. (More …)

    • detnap 12:56 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I think both guitar hero and rock band are pretty good games, but are for slightly different audiences (since the “mustical instrument controller genre” has taken off).

      Rock band is for party mode, since it does allow up to 4 players and the drums and mic provide an musical outlet for those that never really got into the guitar controller. It’s fun and really makes the game a team based effort since the use of star power to increase the life of another player or to save another player gives the game another dimension. Guitar hero also does span all levels, so you can be a newcomer or someone who has played a lot of guitar hero and still have fun. Lots of fun.

      Some of the issues with Rock band though are, and I just want to touch up on them because some of the issues Aaron dismiss out of hand even though they are still important.

      1. Rock band guitar is unusable by me at harder difficulty levels. Yes, Aaron can say that this isn’t an issue for him since he plays at lower difficulty levels, but it still affects me. Since it is a party game and you’d want to cater to both your friends who are new to the game and friends who have played lot before, it would be nice to have a guitar that is usable at all difficulty levels.
      2. Guitar hero being harder at higher difficulty levels actually doesn’t really affect it at the lower difficulty levels. If someone were to be able to play rock band on medium difficulty, they would be able to play guitar hero 3 on medium difficulty as well. The extra difficulty only comes in at the very high difficulty levels. The difficulty in itself doesn’t affect the ability of someone at a party to pick up rock band or guitar hero.
      3. Where are all the female vocals? Rock band can pick up the pitch if it is exactly one octave higher or lower, but it would be really nice if some of the songs were songs that women would actually sing. Hopefully this gets solved with the downloadable content though.
      4. Hardware quality. I am actually quite concerned that at some point my guitar would stop registering strums and my drums would stop registering hits. Out of the 3 people that I know that have guitar hero, we had all sent back our guitars because they weren’t registering well, and Aaron has sent back his drums. Hardware quality with guitar hero guitars are also pretty shoddy.

    • phokal 7:19 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I sent back Claire’s GH3 wireless guitar. It had neck issues.

      What do you mean by female vocals? You mean Pop songs (songs girls like to sing)? Because it has Flyleaf and Garbage(?).

  • Phokal 5:04 pm on February 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: *know*, DnD, Dungeons and Dragons, games, greatest game ever made, memento, , the nameless one,   

    Planescape: Torment is the greatest game never made; *KNOW* that it was made too early 

    Planescape by Nick

    Planescape: Torment was way ahead of its time. It is a great game, with an excellent story. The characters, individually, are amongst the best; deep backstories, interesting personality quirks. The setting is the Planescape plane of the Dungeons and Dragons universe, the hub plane for the rest (Baldur’s Gate’s Forgotten Realms, the traditional/original DnD, etc). It is unlike any setting you have seen, in any media. (More …)

    • mattlindh 2:54 am on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      What can change the nature of a gaming industry?

    • detnap 1:12 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I played a bit of planescape and it was pretty good. I don’t have the same worship for it as Aaron and other internet legions, but it was interesting all the same.

      Some of the issues I had was I enjoy the weapon/armor harvesting where I could equipt my traveling companions with found loot. In Planescape, Torment, I found that I was limited in how I could distribute my wealth.

      The story was interesting, but as with most games, the story just isn’t dense enough. What I mean is that if we put all the pages of a video game story together, at the end, it might be 100 pages, but it’ll take 60 hours to tell the story. If it doesn’t have good gameplay, then trying to squeeze even a good story out of that would be difficult. This isn’t to say that Torment had poor gameplay, just very standard gameplay for rpgs of that time (ie, balder’s game engine)

    • phokal 7:27 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Weapon harvesting works like any japanese rpg. Weapons are specific per person. Once you’ve got your full party, which you don’t get until the end of act 1 (last party member is partway in art 2). I don’t think most had much trouble with FF7’s inventory system.

      The story is very-memento based, or like Babylon 5. Very heavy foreshadowing, and hint based in the first act. The idea is that, by the time of the reveal, you’ve figured it out. You are meant to read between the lines and try to discover who you are without the game every directly telling you. Having the high int, char, and wisdom also greatly helps, as many reveals are given only if your character is smart enough to reveal it.

      Finding your journal is the first quest. Finding it is only the beginning.

    • phokal 9:03 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hah! Niiice comment, mattlindh.

    • detnap 8:53 am on February 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Well, weapon harvesting didn’t work that way in Final Fantasy 3, so I don’t think the comment “any Japanese rpg” is quite accurate. In FF3, you could equip most of the weapons on most characters, you could have a “hybrid” classes, etc.

      A couple of the things that computer rpgs brought (at least games in the same vein as Balder’s gate) was the additional freedom it brought over console rpgs. I think I tended to go for max power in my party over story elements, even if it didn’t make sense.

      For instance, at the end of Balder’s Gate, my party consisted of 3 evil characters and 3 good characters. I actually had to kill an innocent bystander because I had done too many good quests and my evil members were about to leave. But I did this because those evil characters were the best and the good characters were the best, equipped with the best. Some of their story’s weren’t necessarily very strong and some of them were downright annoying, but if I wanted to just hit a go button and have them crush everything, that was a trade off I was willing to make.

    • phokal 1:13 pm on February 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Weapon harvesting: If you are referring to the floating skull (no weapons, obviously), the theif (daggers…), or the neutral planes wanderer who uses the sword made out of that and uses only that because , or the mage who is eternally on fire because he has a portal to the realm of fire (anything near him will burn, even your regenerating immortal), then it all makes a lot of sense why they can’t use everything. Plus, you recruit more characters later who are more…versatile. You can use whatever you’d like. The fighter characters in your party can use any weapons. The non-fighters, not trained to do such, cannot.

    • OveRRuN 8:19 pm on October 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Best game ever, I got immersed into it for 6 months forgetting everthing else. Until this day I still remember it with melancholy, actually looking for fan art is how I got here. I ended the game with a level 28 mage. Many years went by so I don’t know if this is accurated but anyways, my favorite secuence as I remember it:

      I wake up without knowing where or when I am and more important who I am. But there is someone else, an old lady with grey hair, she is smiling at me, and as if we were having a conversation already she asks me what is going to be my third wish… I hesitate but answer (inevitably) that I want to know who I am, and now she laughs. Before granting my last wish she says: how amusing… you asked for the very same thing with your first wish…

    • amir 10:56 pm on February 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I love playing RPG that allow weapon harvesting/weapon creation. But nothing beats a good story. For me, Torment is the best RPG created. You really get involved. Thats the gist of roleplay. Being immersed. Anyway, I have wished this for the past few years that someone would just make a remake of Torment, on better platform, showing full detail of the character and the environment.

    • phokal 10:14 am on February 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Agreed. The story in torment is very detail oriented. Lots of information is presented and it is up to the reader to figure out some of the meaning. This allows for some great puzzles where you actually figure out the clues, rather than just select obvious dialog choices.

      Torment’s biggest downside is it’s presentation. With so many pages of text, some of the large conversations can take half an hour to an hour just to get through, or more if you replay them to pick other options. But rarely has a conversation been as tense as a boss battle (or even used as some).

      Either way, Torment gives you a lot of player freedom while constraining you to a very strongly written story. The amnesiac character has never been so well thought out.

    • UK_John 6:45 pm on June 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Now re-released by Interplay on DVD – get it at Amazon – so maybe not released too early for today’s gamers, but re-released just at the right moment!

    • FIFO 5:28 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Given the way modern games have developed (style being heavily favored over substance) and Torment’s decidedly old-school reliance on a text-heavy narrative I’d say that it was released too late rather than too early. It may employ the mechanics of a for-the-time contemporary cRPG, but the design is more reminiscent of old adventure games or even interactive fiction. Torment’s commercial reception would probably have been more favorable if audiences had come from a background of games like those, but 1998 was the year of Half-Life, not Zork.

    • Phokal 8:04 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      @FIFO that is some great insight. I do believe it would have been well received (relatively, as niche as PC gaming was). I think now, with the latest developments in interactive storytelling (Mass Effect’s “emotional stance” and Heavy Rain’s “Interactive Movie”) we are approaching a new means of presenting the alien world of Planescape. There was just an unfortunate middle period where the technology had moved past “interactive novels” but not quite reached the point of “interactive movies.”

    • ray 10:28 am on September 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I see a lot of Mass effect in this game.
      All the markers are there ,plain to see .

      Amazing that Half Life came out the same time .
      A lot of todays gamers wouldn’t have the patience required for this classic .

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