Month: September 2019

Guild Wars 2 Warrior

While the warrior role in other RPG’s usually means doing a little damage before getting an epic beat down from multiple attackers, the Guild Wars 2 warrior is a little hardier. The warrior profession is actually a pretty good option for solo players, as this character is definitely a lot more mobile than the armor would suggest. The ability to inflict specific damage depending upon the weapons sets you choose means that you can really get into fine detail about how you want to slaughter attacking hordes, but it also means that there is a bit of a learning curve required to master the profession.

The weapon sets can be mixed and matched to achieve maximum damage, with the ability to carry weapons in both hands, swing away two handed with larger weapons and even aquatic weapons all available to the warrior. The ability to change up weapons and attack techniques can make it difficult for your opponents to figure out your strategy when you engage in PvP combat. This can often mean springing the element of surprise, which is another reason why the Guild Wars 2 warrior is perfect for all different kinds of gameplay.

Your professional goal as a warrior is to become stronger by amassing adrenaline points. The more you fight, the stronger you become, and all without the use of performance enhancing drugs. Your adrenaline level will be displayed above your weapons skills and should be used as early as possible when you enter into combat. That additional surge of strength, combined with the multiple different weapon sets can give you a real advantage in combat situations. Try to fill up all three levels of adrenaline, as this will give you the ability to deliver all sorts of great weapons skills, such as Arcing Slice and Earthshaker.

There are multiple levels to work through as a warrior, with your goal being to make it to level 11, where you can start to accumulate trait points. There are a total of 70 trait points to be earned as you go from level 11 to level 80, with each one adding to your primary or secondary attributes. Strength, arms, defense, tactics, and discipline can all be improved by trait points, making you stronger as the game progresses. There is much more to learn about being a warrior in Guild Wars 2, but the best way to do so is to jump right in and enjoy the fun.


Violence in Computer Gaming

The Entertainment Software Rating Board provides summarized, accurate information that allows users to see at a glance, the suitability of games for various ages. This Board is not a South African entity, but its ratings are an excellent guideline for parents when purchasing games for their children.

Games are rated for:

  • early childhood (EC),
  • everyone (E),
  • everyone 10+ for children aged 10 and older (10+E),
  • teen for ages 13 and older (T),
  • mature for ages 17 and older (M),
  • adults only for ages 18 and older (AO), and
  • rating pending (RP)

The ESRB rating applies to games and mobile apps and is extrapolated from information submitted by the publisher in the latter stages of game development, but prior to publication. The content is evaluated based on aspects such as violence, language, nudity, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual context and gambling – and a rating applied.

The game and its packaging are subsequently assessed again after publication to ensure that the initial assessment based on information disclosed was complete and accurate.

The game packaging is required to display the assessed rating, but online resellers of games often do not supply the rating on their website. Often, no reference material or mechanism is available on the website to assess a game’s rating. Legislation does not require such a mechanism but responsible resellers can provide a widget on their website, made available from the ESRB website.

This widget enables a concerned parent to type in the name of the game in question and it will then supply the rating for that game. In this way, parents intending to buy games for their children, or wanting to assess the appropriateness of any game, can readily and easily get that information.

The Film and Publications Board (FPB) is responsible in South Africa for rating games and the applicable ratings are self-explanatory, namely PG, 13, 16 and 18. To quote from Times Live news site:

“Games rated PG contain no references to drugs, no foul language and no nudity, but may contain “minimal violence in playful, comic or highly stylis ed settings”…

Further, games rated 13 are similarly restricted in terms of drug references, foul language and nudity, but may contain “sequences of mild violence”, provided there is “no mutilation or dismemberment of animal or human bodies”.

The 16+ classification makes allowances for drug reference – provided they do not glamorise their use – and some nudity, provided it is not tied to incentives within the game. But with regard to violence, the game may include sequences of intense violence in graphic detail. Mutilation and dismemberment may occur in animated contexts.”

The inherent problem, however, lies in the fact that the FPB does not enforce its ratings and the decision is left to the purchaser. It is for this reason, that the author suggests that parents use any ESRB ratings that are available on the online storefront in order to make an informed decision.

Parents are encouraged to check the latest games’ ratings prior to purchasing them in order to not expose their children to inappropriate content. This is not a prerequisite for South African online console games sites, and is entirely at the discretion of each individual.


Fighting Games

Several websites not only offer these fighting games and allow free download, but also keep uploading new games, which you can download and enjoy. However, some of the more famous and branded games offer better quality of audio, video and graphics, but demand a monthly payment of varying amounts. However, some people opine that it would be cheaper to buy the games outright, as paying rent for it for 4 to 5 months would account for the cost of the game itself.

Some websites offer demo versions of the games for your trials. Remember though, that it is worthwhile to download only if you computer is fast. Again a few of the websites will either offer you a limited level trail version with time limits or provide demos which are like trailers of the real game. You can play these shorter versions, and if you like them, you can buy the game outright.

The 2D and 3D versions of the fighting games have become extremely popular because the players identify themselves with the fighting character in the game, adorn his distinctive styles to balance the fights and win against his opponent. Funny and well-designed games are so interesting and challenging for online play, that many have joined the cause. A few of these fighting games enable you to join a tag team and fight as a team. You can find a diverse variety of fighting characters in the online games ranging from solo, realistic and cartoon types. Some games even have multiplayer fighters who enliven the game considerably.


Fallout 3

Story

The story in Fallout 3 starts already when you are a baby and you grow up in Vault 101. While I do not intend to get into too many spoilers there is one little problem I have seen people complain about related to this: It doesn’t give you a vague background you can make for yourself.

Some people will now probably think “Why is that important?” and I will try to explain just that. One of the things Bethesda is known for is their open games, and Fallout 3 is no different here, but from my interactions with the more “Roleplay” heavy communities that have played the game(especially some fans of the Elder Scrolls games) feel that the set backstory for the character limits their roleplaying experience. Now, I am not going to be using this against the game, but it is something to take note of if you are a heavy roleplayer and are used to making your own backstories in the Elder Scrolls franchise.

As for the story itself it is set in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. who never really got over the fifties before the Great War came, and it is in this Wasteland you have to track down your father and find out what he is up to after all these years.

I have always felt that the story in Fallout 3 was a tad too short, but I still found it to be pretty good. It is nothing under the sun, but it is a good story that offers both good and bad choices in how you play through it, though they are fairly similar.

Now, the last thing I want to mention about the story is that unless you have the Broken Steel DLC installed you will not be able to continue playing after completing the last mission in the game.

Combat

The combat is a major part of the gameplay and it can be roughly divided into melee and ranged combat with a few styles under each of those.

In ranged combat you have the option of using Big Guns, Small Guns, Energy Weapons and Explosives. Big Guns include weapons such as Miniguns, Missile Launchers and Gatling Lasers, Small Guns is every non-Big Gun conventional firearm like rifles, and Energy Weapons are energy based weapons like the Laser and Plasma Rifle. Explosives is pretty much self-explanatory, dealing with anything explosive not covered by the Big Guns skill.

The melee combat is divided into Melee Weapons and Unarmed, and they each have their own little weaponry. Unarmed is very limited, having a few different types of Knuckles and the Power Fist, which is basically a robotic glove made to increase the impact of your strikes, but also have the advantage of not needing a weapon to be used. All other weapons like knives, baseball bats and Super Sledges are covered by the Melee Weapons skill.

The effectiveness of a certain type of weapon comes down to the skill level and perks related to it as well as the condition it is in, so make sure to keep your weapons repaired on long journeys.

Another part of the combat is VATS, or Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, which allows you to stop time and have your character pre-determine what parts of the enemy you want to attack. Using VATS can, and most likely will, save your life several times in the game, but to use it you have to spend Action Points so be careful you don’t run out right before you actually need that extra precision.

Stealth

Stealth in Fallout 3 is useful both in and outside of combat, allowing you to get Sneak Attack bonuses to damage and steal items to either more quickly advance a quest or just for profit. The primary stat stealth is based on is the Sneak skill, though there are other factors that will play a part, such as the enemies Perception attribute, the light, distance and how heavy your equipment is.

Another skill that can be considered a part of the stealth play style is the Lockpicking skill which allows you to open locked doors and containers. Something people who have played Oblivion or Skyrim maybe be unfamiliar with though is that you must meet the required skill level for the lock to even attempt to open it. Someone with 50 in the Lockpicking Skill cannot try to open a Master lock for example.

Speech and Other Skills

In addition to the combat and stealth skills there are also a few others that are important for your character and these are Repair, Medicine, Science, Speech and Barter.

These skills are very straight forward: Repair allowing you to repair you equipment more efficiently, Medicine making Stimpacks heal you more and the Science skill allowing you to hack computers and, with the right perks, deactivate robots. Barter and Speech allows you to get better prices when you buy and sell, and increases your chances at successfully persuade NPCs respectively.

Something worth noting is that if you have a high skill level there may be speech options based on those skills, for example someone with a lot of knowledge about Small Guns can help a small group to use small firearms more effectively than they could before.

Crafting

To craft something in Fallout 3 you will need a workbench and you will have to find, buy or in some other way unlock the schematics for the item you want to craft. There are three levels of each item which will require you to find three sets of schematics.

Quests

If there is one major gripe I have this game it is in the quests. Don’t get me wrong, the quests themselves are very good and most of them allow you to take one of several paths. However, there are rather few quests in the game.

It is as simple as that. There are too few quests in the game. With the DLCs and over a hundred hours of gameplay I had finished around sixty quests and I had problems finding more.

Of course, this is somewhat offset by the fact that there are collectables like the Vault-Tec Bobbleheads that will increase your skills and SPECIAL stats as well as a number of unique items spread across the world, but it is still a major drawback for the game.

NPCs

In Fallout 3 you will meet three types of NPCs; the one with dialogue connected to a quest, the ones with dialogue not connected to a quest and the ones who won’t speak with you at all.

The ones that will not talk to you at all tend to be generically named, like “Megaton Settler”, and will give you a short line if you try to interact with them.

The NPCs you can interact with tend to have a personality, especially the ones on quests, and there are many very memorable ones like Three Dog, Fawkes and Moira Brown. Quite a few of the characters seem to have a twisted sense of humor as well, though fans of the original games may not feel it is the same.

The Lone Wanderer

In the game you are commonly known as the Lone Wanderer from Vault 101, but exactly how is he made?

There are three primary things to the character in Fallout 3 and that is 1: the SPECIAL stats, 2: The Skills and 3: the Perks. Seeing as the skills have been covered earlier I will only go into the SPECIAL stats and the perks. And then there is Karma.

SPECIAL

SPECIAL stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. These stats range from the values 1 to 10 and the baseline value is set at 5.

At the start of the game after having created your characters appearance you are asked to customize these stats to your liking and are given fire SPECIAL points to distribute among them. In addition to these five points you can also decrease one of your attributes for more points down to the value of one.

This system allows for a wide range of starting values and allow for prioritizing based on what kind of character you want. If you want a character that is only going to go through the game guns blazing and never thinking twice about persuasion or diplomacy it can be favorable to decrease the Charisma stat to 1 and have 4 extra points to pun in more relevant stats.

Perks

Every time you level up in Fallout 3 you have to choose a perk and what perks are available depends on whether or not you meet the requirements of level, skill level and SPECIAL level. The higher level you are the more powerful perks you unlock, but these will also have higher skill and SPECIAL requirement, often having high requirements in more than one skill and stat.

The perks themselves have a wide range of uses, from giving skill increases and unlocking certain abilities in a skill, like not making noise when you are sneaking, to increasing SPECIAL stats, skills, Hit Points(health) and Action Points to becoming a friend to the animals so they won’t attack you as you travel the Wasteland.

Karma

Karma is a reaction you will get from most actions you take in the game and they reflect your moral standing in the game. Some dialogue and followers may or may not be available if your karma isn’t in the right classification.

Graphics and Animation

As with most Bethesda games the graphics are above average, and very good when you take into consideration that an entire open-world area is in the game with consistently good graphics.

The animations on the other hand are rather stiff and don’t look very good. It is not so bad that you will tear your hair out, but you may raise an eyebrow or two in the time you will spend in this game(and trust me, that can easily become fifty plus hours if you like open world games).

The World

The game is set in the Capital Wasteland, which is the remnants of Washington D.C. and because of this you are going to see some famous buildings such as the Washington Monument, though if you are a hardcore American Patriot it might just bring a tear to your eye to see the state these buildings was left after the Great War and a couple of centuries of mutant infestation.

Lore

The Lore of the world of Fallout is pretty interesting and it deals with an alternative reality to our own. Here America never really got over the fifties when it came to style, though the technology advanced.

200 years earlier the Great War, that lasted about two hours, ravaged the world and nuclear fire rained from the skies. After this the human race have tried to rebuild, and even though they have made big leaps on the West Coast you are now on the East Coast who still haven’t been able to develop the same infrastructure.

You’ll get the opportunity to learn about everything from pre-war corporations, the remnants of the US government, mutants and more as you go through the world, reading secret data files and doing quests.

Bugs and Issues

When the game first came out it had a decent amount of bugs and major glitches. However, with the latest patch the game should run smoothly and all game breaking bugs I have heard of is supposed to be fixed.


Reasons to Play Diner Dash Online

  • First, Diner Dash is mentally stimulating as well as educational. It allows you to understand what goes on behind the scenes of a restaurant while mentally adjusting to an exciting, fast-paced environment. After playing it a few times, you’ll not only have a great time, but you’ll also have a better understanding of the economics of running a business. Deciding what strategies to use that will earn the most money is a valuable skill not just any video game teaches.
  • Second, playing Diner Dash online can be totally free of charge and requires no download. All you need is an internet connection and a few seconds to find an online free version of the game. After getting online, you’ll soon be enjoying this thrilling game and all of the action that it promises. Each level gets increasingly more difficult as Flo tries to meet the demands of more customers.
  • Third, it is good, clean fun. It is an excellent family game that has no cussing, violence, or inappropriate material for children. If fact, one could argue that it teaches good character values because players have to deal politely with rude, noisy customers in a busy restaurant setting.

It was created by Bigfish Games. There are many versions of this exciting game including versions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. You can even play a SpongeBob Diner Dash online game if you want to be a different character.


ARMA 3

The game takes place in the fictional island of Stratis which is a diverse landscape that spans 20 squared kilometers of explorable landscape. Its terrain features expansive forests and several man-made airbases. Once you start up the game, you are given a variety of choices in how you play the game. You can choose to see the showcases to experience the selection of infantry, vehicles and helicopter that is seen in the game. You can also start up the multiplayer and form a squad to fight against the enemy. You can also create your own scenario through the in-game editor. When you have decided what to do, you are given a variety of options to choose your gear, pick from a collection of weapons and customize your load out.

The game features the newest version of Bohemia Interactive’s game engine, Real Virtuality. In its fourth version, there are a number of new features in comparison to the previous ARMA games. There is now support for DirectX 10 and 11. There is also ragdoll physics and the use of PhysX 3 for physics enable vehicle handling and with environmental objects. There is now an underwater environment for both vehicles and diving. There is an improved lighting engine and a 20 km view distance. Besides the features listed above, there is an endless list of new features in ARMA 3.

Having played the previous games in the ARMA series, this has been a vast improvement, both gameplay and graphic wise. With a larger island to explore and more possibilities of a load out and what you do, you will be spending most of your time, playing tactically and strategically. With the multiplayer mode, you can co-operatively work together in one of the most beautiful designed game to simulate how to be in the shoes of a soldier.


Bubble Birds 2.0

On the surface, it’s a nice looking game, all bright colors, the different birds all have distinct appearances. There’s a few different backgrounds that are well detailed and yet don’t distract the eye. The sounds are crisp and fun, instilling a calming atmosphere, even after hours of playing. Bubble Birds 2.0 is a very well presented game.

Gameplay is very simple, tap where you want your bird to go and that’s it. Just group 3 or more of any color together to eliminate them from the play field. Getting successive matches increases the points you score and there are a variety of special birds to both help and hinder you. The rainbow bird for example becomes the color it lands on and the blackbird throws a spanner in the works by becoming a random color, but never the color it lands on. Something I found quite by accident, you can change the flight of your bird after its released and that comes in handy at times, allowing you to shoot around corners and make matches when you otherwise shouldn’t be able to. The screen moves down slowly, perhaps too slowly, I never felt pressured and the level ends when you match your way to the top and hit the key with a bird.

Unfortunately, despite all these positives, Bubble Birds 2.0 was not a very fulfilling experience. There’s a number of reasons for this but the main problem comes down to the game being far too easy. The play field moves down too slowly and the birds are a little too big. Compared to similar titles, where you might find 15-20 bubbles/items from left to right, here there is only 9-10. Despite being a premium title, you’ll still notice an advertising box at the bottom of the screen. You can collect coins from the levels and buy an ad-free mode but you’d probably much rather buy yourself the power ups to help boost your score. There is no story, the only motivation to keep going is to post a high score.

Bubble Birds 2.0 has a lot of bugs as well, app stability is poor, crashes are common and when it does occur, you lose progress. Sometimes as much as 3 levels. Replaying levels is a frustrating experience. On top of this, it’s currently impossible to finish. On completing the final stage the app immediately crashes and since your score can only be recorded on completion of all 52 stages, this is a huge problem. If for any reason you need to pause the game, you’ll lose any points accumulated on that stage thus far. I tried this on iPhone as well, it’s a universal app, and I was hoping to actually finish the final stage on a different device. Unfortunately, the phone version suffered from even more bugs, the birds are so big that they cover each other up and visibility is almost nonexistent and you’re unable to see the color of your next bird.

Bubble Birds 2.0 has the look of a great game but lacks any depth, with a few minor additions it could be a good title but the bugs are a real deterrent. Not being able to finish the game is a serious problem. Game Center is enabled but there are no achievements which I think is a huge oversight, this could have made up for some of the shortcomings. The relaxed gameplay could be good if there was a storyline to back it up, it’s far too easy though. As a five minute time killer, it’s not bad but the developer needs to give this title some serious attention. 2 stars is all I can give it, there’s just too many oversights.


Finish With Free Online Driving Games

Online driving games are a great alternative to purchasing costly gaming consoles and software. In fact, many of the online variants are totally free and feature graphics and gameplay that rival their commercial counterparts. It’s easy to play free games without spending money or upgrading your computer. Most are optimized to run on any fairly modern PC with only minimum system requirements. If you have a reliable data connection, you are probably already good to go.

Browser based games don’t require any download or installation. You might need a plug-in to support specific types of content, but most users already have these installed. If you do need a browser add-on or extension, the good news is that it only takes a minute. You can be up and running in no time. When you play free games online, you can enjoy your favourites anywhere, anytime, from any Internet enabled device.

Online driving games require more than just quick reflexes. You’ll need to exercise your skills of perception and learn to strategize appropriately to win. In many cases you may have to battle your opponents in more ways than one. Reaching the finish line first may require taking aggressive action against the other races, and some online driving games even include weapons to help you. In this scenario, a keen eye and a careful trigger finger will be of supreme importance.

You can find races that are set in real-world environments, including exact replicas of real-world race tracks rendered in perfect detail. Others are set in fantastic or futuristic environments. Racing challenges may feature traditional automobiles and sports cars, or may put you behind the wheel of other vehicles such as motorbikes, boats or even military transports. Gamers can play free games of virtually any variety thanks to the overwhelming popularity of these online applications and the huge number of developers who are creating them.

Another advantage to playing online is that you can often enjoy multiplayer races with opponents across the country or around the globe. While many console games and desktop PC software include multiplayer options, few offer the ability to play with so many potential challengers around the world. Online games, however, make it easy to play against others.


Mobsters

The main city screen for this game has buildings scattered about, divided by blocks. You can build and recruit gang members in order to launch strikes and claim these buildings for your own! With a city hall and it’s upgrade, you can then move buildings around for a more strategic setup, or take over abandoned buildings to increase the fog of war in your city, discovering more buildings to take and hold!

This game features 3 main resources, muscle, which is used to recruit your gang member units. Coins is used in the upgrading of buildings, defenses, and upgrading your avatar with stronger clothing and weaponry! Finally, product is used in the construction upgrades of buildings and buying defenses for your city! There are several building types in this game, and resource buildings give you a set amount of a certain type, such as sweatshops giving you product, and gyms giving muscle. Other special buildings are needed as well, such as storage buildings, which increase the amount of all 3 resources you can store at one time, prison yard to recruit units, housing to store said gang members, gun ranges and gang member buildings to upgrade your units to higher levels and become stronger!

Influence is another special resource, which is only gained from friends and gifts sent from them, or by visiting their cities and upgrading them. Influence can be used to store troops at subways, or speed up production of most objects and repairs if your city has been hit.

Your avatar is your own special unit you can send off into battle to help fight with your units on invasions and defense, and buying him new clothing and guns will increase his power and defense! Stamina is the only resource used by the avatar and will recharge over time, but the more powerful he becomes, the more stamina he uses for each deployment. Your avatar can also carry special tools and grenades he can use in combat to deal damage to units and buildings, or heal him and his team, and other special uses.

Combat in this game has somewhat of an Real time strategy (RTS) element in it, which you can deploy units on the outside of the enemy city’s borders. Each unit has their own preference for building types and act on their own, but you can pick their spawn location and you personally control your avatar if you deploy him into battle. Destroying buildings will let you steal resources from them, and obliterating enemy bases is usually the main goal, but taking a nice haul from rivals isn’t a bad idea as well!

As you upgrade buildings to a point, you will sometimes need to ask your friends to help upgrade them fully into the next level. This is especially true with special buildings like storage, gang houses, and housing. This game will require some active friends in order to get the most out of the game!

My only complaint about the game, is it seems to rely on micro-transactions to get the most out of the game, such as having 3 construction workers to build 3 buildings at once. Since this is a competitive game, one can see where some people can get into a “pay to win” strategy, but thankfully its not as bad as some other games on the market which feature competitive play.


Sleeping Dogs Game

Straight away it gives signs of being heavily story orientated which is a good thing in my opinion! I like the story, I’m not going to give a big break down of the whole thing because that’s what makes Game Reviews long and I don’t want to spoil things for you. But, the story gets a thumbs up from me.

I’ll talk about the things which I like about Sleeping Dogs, first off there is a pretty nifty game mechanic where you have 2 different experience systems. You gain experience as a cop and as a triad (saying cops and triads shouldn’t be a spoiler, you should be aware of this.) So you gain experience as a cop by completing undercover cop cases and not killing innocents and wrecking the place. You level up as a triad by beating down bad guys and the usual gang related things. I really like the combat though, the fist-fighting seems quite fluid and I actually get beaten a lot of the time which to me, shows that the combat is a challenge (which not a lot of games are these days.) The developers have done well to keep weapons out of your hands as much as possible. So you do have to fight with your fists most of the time, it makes a refreshing change from every man and his dog packing heat in other games.

Things I don’t like so much about the game include – the graphics, they’re OK but that’s as good as they get. Also some of the driving controls are very unrealistic. I get that they wanted to put some extreme stuff in there, like hijacking cars by jumping out of one and into the other, fine. But ramming other cars is just plain bad, there’s a button to ram car’s and when you press the button you seem to get a boost of speed in the direction of the car you want to ram. I mean ANY direction, even if it’s parallel to your car, it’s bad design in my opinion. Finally the only other gripe I have is the fact that every female you meet in Sleeping Dogs wants to be intimate with you as soon as they meet you. Now I’ve heard a few things about Hong Kong but this is just starting to look like Bangkok.