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6:02 AM on 08.19.2010  

Why you will never see a sequel to your favourite Star Wars game.



Star Wars is huge, everybody likes Star Wars in some way (Apart from my sister, but I know she’s not human, so that’s alright). Star Wars has had some fantastic games, and I mean incredible. But these days, Star Wars games are becoming a former shell of themselves. There are so many series left to rot by LucasArts as they make another SuperJedi™ game. Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you some great Star Wars games that will never get sequels: Get some tissues ready for some manly tears.

You want to read more?

Why you will never see a sequel to... Republic Commando


What is Republic Commando?
Star Wars Republic Commando is a first-person shooter based around the ‘Delta Squad’ during the clone wars. The team commands are similar to the Rainbow Six series with commands such as door breaches, taking cover and mounting heavy weapons as well as the squad mates ability to revive each other, even the player, when they are down. Republic Commando was looked upon fondly as a solid shooter with likable characters, even though they are supposed clones, each one was unique. It is also a Star Wars game that avoids any direct contact with Jedi, bringing a certain reality to the front lines of the war.

Why won’t we ever see a sequel to it?
That’s the thing: there was. Republic Commando: Order 66 was released exclusively on mobile phones. This sequel takes place during the events of Star Wars Episode 3, where you fight droids and eventually have to eliminate the Jedi. But it is not what the fans wanted, but I bring good news, it is NOT canon! So why won’t there be a sequel again? Books mother***ers!
The Republic Commando series was a novel spin off to the game, each book looks at the adventures of the Omega Commando squad, with faithful cameos of Delta Squad and Jedi. A sequel book to the Republic Commando books, Imperial Commandos deals with members of Delta Squad and Omega squad becoming a black-ops unit within Darth Vader’s 501st legion and hunting down fugitive Jedi.
So as you can see, the canon and path of the Republic Commando’s is already set out and written about. A Republic Commando game could simply not deal with the ridiculous writing and plot turns that the books offer out, so we are left replaying an old solid Star Wars FPS, I’m sorry to say.

Is there even a slim chance in the cosmos?
Unless the canon of the Star Wars universe is changed; the same canon where The Force is a mystical bacteria that shits out magic (No George Lucas, I did not forget). We are not going to ever see a true sequel to Republic Commando. Nope, not a chance in Korriban.

I see.

Why you will never see a sequel to... Battlefront.


What is Battlefront?
Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront 2 are third person shooters where you have to conquer the galaxy with your faction, one planet at a time. It is similar in vain to the Battlefield series, in fact starting its life as a mod for Battlefield 1942. During the game-play, you choose a class of soldier to become and have to take over outposts that grant reinforcements, you usually conquer all these outposts to win, otherwise killing foes until their body count (Score) reaches zero.

Why won’t we ever see a sequel to it?
There were two spin offs on hand held consoles and an actual third game in th series was being worked on. Unfortunately, Free Radical lost the rights to make it after 2 years of work on the game. Art was leaked, assets were shown, and the truth is; now nothing remains of it, the sequel was perhaps 1 to 2 years away from release and it got shut down. Tragedy at its finest. If another sequel were to actually be released, it would have to have the nod from Lucas, then have to be contructed from scratch, something that they don’t want to bother with it seems.

Is there even a slim chance in the cosmos?
Maybe if Rebellion Develpoments (The creators of the handheld battlefront games) were given orders to make it for next gen consoles? Other than that, no other studio would be given untested grounds to create a third game in a successful game series straight away. And Lucasarts? Hah, even less of chance with the lay-offs going on right now. You’d have a better chance chance of winning an arm wrestle against a wookie. A BIG WOOKIE.

It's... understandable I guess.

Why you will never see a sequel to... Knights of the Old Republic.


What is Knights of the Old Republic.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords are role-playing games set around 4000 years before Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. The games are renowned for having gripping stories and interesting characters.

Why won’t we ever see a sequel to it?
Bioware: the creator of the first game, is releasing a sequel of sorts. Star Wars The Old Republic is an MMO set 300 years after KotOR 2, having nothing to do with Revan or The Exile or in fact any other character found in KotOR 1 or 2. So no, it is not a sequel in any apart from being a Star Wars game set in The Old Republic. A Bioware designer had this to say about a Kotor 3: "Kotor 3? Yes, it's called "The Old Republic" and it is KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8!". No. I’m sorry, but no. I know it is just Pre-release hype and the game will be great in its own right, but it is not a Kotor sequel. The TOR designers said that every player will have their own crew and be a hero, but not really, no. Will my player character have their own Wikipedia entry? Have a lot of plot twists to do with his/her past? Have their fate tied to the destiny of their chosen side? Hmm.

Is there even a slim chance in the cosmos?
If you want to see a spiritual sequel, then by all means, pay monthly to experience The Old Republic. Otherwise, a single-player RPG telling us the fates of the heroes from the first two games had been shot down by the creators of Kotor thousands of times.

So, uh... Okay.


Why you will never see a sequel to... X-Wing.


What is X-Wing?
The X-Wing series is the collective name for 4 PC games: Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance. They are space combat simulation games where the player takes on the role of a Rebel Alliance Pilot or a Galactic Empire Pilot.

Why won’t we ever see a sequel to it?
The games were developed by ‘Totally Games’ under licence from LucasArts. The Amazing LucasArts™ see fit to hold onto this licence and not give it to anyone at all. So there are no plans to release any further games in the series; although in an interview in, The X-Wing creator indicated he would like to return to the series at some point in the future. Even the series’ original mission designers, have also stated that they would happily return to the series. But LucasArts has decided that nobody wants to be a normal pilot these days, they all want to be Jedis and Siths with their Lazer sticks and over-the-top dragonball-esque force powers.

Is there even a slim chance in the cosmos?
The original team is no longer employed at ‘Totally Games’ and every single one of them have either left the industry or joined another game company. So that means that you would need a brand new team of hot-shots who want to make a space combat simulator (Something nobody does these days) as well as LucasArts to give up the X-Wing License. Not Gonna Happen. I guess we should all hold onto our dusty joysticks and remember the good days long past.

Makes sense.

Why you will never see a sequel to... Jedi Knight.


What is Jedi Knight?
The Jedi Knight Series includes a lot of games. It all starts with Star Wars: Dark Forces, followed by Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, followed by Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith. Years later another game came, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and the Last game was Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Which should rightly be called Star Wars: Dark Forces 5: Jedi Knight 4: Jedi Outcast 2: Jedi Academy. But you can see why they went with ‘Jedi Academy’). These games are First/Third-Person shooters with a storyline that focuses around the character Kyle Katarn.

Why won’t we ever see a sequel to it?
Dark Forces, Dark Forces 2 and Mysteries of the Sith were developed in-house at LucasArts (Back when it was great, with those fantastic adventure games they used to make.) But LucasArts Partnered with Raven Software who made Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. Obviously this contract has ended as LucasArts have not contacted Raven Software for another game. Raven Software has recently finished their original game ‘Singularity’ after some major layoffs within the company. With neither company making any move to return to this fantastic series of games, it’s stuck dead in the water, forgotten about along with that half-eaten pizza underneath my bed.

Is there even a slim chance in the cosmos?
If LucasArts decided that another Jedi Knight game would sell impossibly well and Raven Software was motivated and paid enough, sure it’s possible. It’s unlikely that Kyle Katarn would ever return as the player character as the Star Wars Expanded universe is bloated as bantha. Our hero, Kyle Katarn has appeared in numerous books and comics, as has the canon player character (Jaden Korr from Jedi Academy.) So a new character would have to be created. As you can tell, there are just too many hoops to jump through for another game. At least we can remember Kyle’s greatest moments.


......I got nothing.   read


10:36 AM on 07.14.2010  

Top 10 Female Villains of all Time



We all know that saving the world usually requires fighting the ‘Big Bad’, more effectively known as the ‘Big Bad Evil Guy’. But sometimes, just sometimes women can have the upper hand. And I’m not talking about a cold hearted woman who falls in love with and joins the hero, I’m talking about the woman behind the strings.

Good, Evil, it doesn’t matter, and now I’ve realised that the sex doesn’t matter either, the female side of villainy can be just as, if not, more effective than the strong masculine power houses that we’re used to waging war with.
So prepare yourself for my list of the Top 10 Villainesses of all Time:

10. ‘Jacqueline’ Natla
-Game: Tomb Raider Anniversary, Tomb Raider Underworld
-Type: Final Boss, Big Bad
-Motivation: Desire for power.



Natla is from an ancient race that settled on earth, but she became power hungry and wanted all the ancient power for herself. Natla is extremely intelligent and when her nemesis questions what she is doing, Natla just tells it as it is; no games, no emotional strings, just the cold hard truth. Sure she’s a scheming bitch, but at least she is honest about it, it’s a breath of fresh air from all the manipulations and lies from most villains.


9. Sephiroth
-Game: Final Fantasy 7
-Type: Final Boss
-Motivation: Destroying the world to become god.



The result of an experiment on an extra-terriestral lifeform. Sephiroth tries to merge with the planet’s life-force, the ‘Lifestream’, effectively, she wants to become a god. Having a super soldier always ahead of you is always a downer and with the ability to summon a meteor, she is definitely a deadly opponent.

I’ve been informed that this villain isn't a girl? My bad. It’s the hair that fools me.


8. Selvaria Bles
-Game: Valkyria Chronicles
-Type: Walking Brick, Right-hand Woman
-Motivation: To serve her Country




Selvaria is a descendant of the legendary Valkyria, serving Maximilian as the Imperial Alliance invades Europa. What is surprising is how classy she is, she wants to protect her country, but she also has morals and makes an incredible sacrifice as the war progresses.



7. The Boss
-Game: Metal Gear Solid 3
-Type: The Boss
-Motivation: To Manipulate the course of the war.



A founding member of the cobra unit, The Boss is a master of CQC full of overwhelming charisma. She will always serve and protect her country. She is a motherly figure of sorts. Smart, confident, deadly and she lived until the ripe old age of 42. As far as villains go, The Boss isn't a major one, but she is a goo enough character to make it to this list.



6. Empress of Time
-Game: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
-Type: Final Boss
-Motivation: To change her fate.




The Empress is just doing what she was meant to do, create the sands of time and protect them. But then some jerk comes along and asks around for the Empress so he can kill her to save himself. One of them must die. I like the Empress, because she isn’t the classical baddie, she just wants to not die. That’s a pretty commendable thing, wouldn’t you say? All she tries to do is prevent her death, even if that means one or two casualties.



5. GLaDOS
-Game: Portal, Portal 2
-Status: Final Boss
-Motivation: To test for Science.



Everybody knows this sarcastic villain who tries to attack the player with words rather than brute force. You could argue that GLaDOS doesn’t know any better, but she was created to test subjects, GLaDOS went beyond her programming to make sure the tests were satisfactory, that’s commitment! Even if it does mean a few deaths...



4. Ravel Puzzlewell
-Game: Planescape Torment
-Type: Boss Fight
-Motivation: To do the impossible.



Ravel is the reason for the entire game (As most villains are) but she doesn’t do it for evil, she does it for your character, you see, she accepts an impossible challenge to make The Nameless one Immortal, not evil at all.. Even though she is well feared throughout the planes, The Nameless One's relationship with her keeps you a friend of sorts, until you find her and want to leave, then she shows her true, murderous colours, she’s not evil, she’s just... Ravel.



3. Sarah Kerrigan
-Game: Starcraft, Starcraft Brood War, Starcraft 2
-Type: Big Bad
-Motivation: To lead the zerg to perfection.



Kerrigan is an interesting villainess, as she started out as a loyal soldier, but was betrayed and became a pawn of the zerg. This in a sense set her free, she was given more power than ever and eventually became the sole ruler of the zerg. It’s hard to hate her as she is just using the opportunity that she was given and later worked hard for. Plus, she is yet to be defeated.


2. SHODAN
-Game: System Shock, System Shock 2
-Type: Final Boss
-Motivation: Recreating Reality to become god.



What can I say here? SHODAN makes HAL-9000 look like a cuddly toy. A scary omniscient presence in the first system shock who is always watching you, an unlikely ally who you know is going to betray you in the second. SHODAN could only work as a female, even though she is just an Sentient Artificial Intelligence, her disjointed speech and huge ego all build what is one of the best villain’s in all of video gaming.




(KOTOR SPOILERS AHOY!)



1. Kreia
-Game: Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic 2: The Sith Lords
-Type: Final Boss.
-Motivation: To KILL THE FORCE ITSELF.



Jedi? Sith? Neither. Kreia was an effective, sympathetic villain, only enhanced by the fact that your character had been travelling with her since before the game started. She didn't like being used. She didn't like that the Force was manipulating the galaxy as its cosmic plaything. Her motivations were understandable, and I wouldn't have minded for her to win would it not have screwed up the entire Star Wars canon. She was probably one of the best-written female characters in video-gaming, made all the more impressive given that, to my knowledge, the writing staff was all male.



There you have it. Now we just need to get the best female protagonists to fight with the best female antagonists... in some mud. You bring the camera, I'll bring the popcorn.


And now a question: Do you think gender makes a lick of difference to the strengths of a character? Especially a villain?   read


6:27 PM on 06.29.2010  

Sands of Time Trilogy Review: I F**ked with time, is this bad?



Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you: they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am or why I say this. Sit down and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard.

I will be honest, when I was younger, platforming games scared the hell out of me, I played the demo of Sands of Time and Warrior Within: I did not get very far at all.
Fast forward 7 years and I have broadened my horizons to every single genre of game, If I am not good at it, I will plug away at it until I beat it. I played Prince of Persia 2008, some complain that it is easy, but it is the game that got me into 3d platforming. I loved the setting, the music, the characters; it was easily one of the best purchases I had made in a long time.
Not too long ago, I watched the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time film. What can I say; I enjoyed it. I was an enjoyable night out. Afterwards, I had an uncontrollable urge to rewind time. So, that very same week, I acquired the Sands of Time Trilogy. This is where the real adventure began.



Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

I wasn’t too sold on it when I started it, but it grew on me fast. The Prince was such a likable character, talking to himself while doing some impossible platforming feats. The combat was simple, yet satisfying. I made it ¾ through the game until I realised I could do counter attacks, it became vastly more interesting. I would jump over an enemy’s head, attack them, they would counter it, I would counter their counter attack, they would counter my counter-counter attack; it became an epic fight until one of us mistimed it or dodged away, still, there is something odd about the combat that I just can’t place my finger on; some annoying things are you have to stab every downed enemy with the dagger of time or they will get right back up with full health. The first time I witnessed this is shouted out “HERESY!” followed by “GODDAMN ZOMBIES!”. The platforming itself was tricky, made worse by some horrible camera angles, thank god you have the ability to rewind some mistakes then; as parts can be wildly frustrating. Some of the sand abilities were incredible, from freezing enemies with time to using a Haste attack that decimated everything.



I don’t want to mention graphics as it is an old game, but the first time I saw it, it hadn’t aged that well. That was until I became completely absorbed in the world, by then it didn’t matter, it looked perfect to me. This proves that you don’t need nostalgia goggles. The story was simple: you unleashed the sands of time, turning nearly everything into a sand creature; you need to use the dagger of time to put the sands back; so begins the journey across the wonderful city into the tower of dawn to fix everything. But you’re not alone: for about half the game you have Farah, a princess, your counterpart. She has a bow and arrow that stuns baddies while you do most the dirty work; she can die if you neglect her, but it never feels like an escort mission, she can handle herself, providing you handle yourself. She can also fit into cracks in the walls to unlock doors, I’m sure there’s a sexual innuendo in there somewhere... But Farah really has character, the conversations between her and the Prince are fantastic, it’s funny, it’s really and you can feel the relationship build, and strain when they disagree on something.

The story is just nice and simple, with a sprinkling of mind-fuck.

There are few characters: Main ones are, The Prince, Farah and the Vizier.

The music in the game grew on me too, it had that Arabian nights feel it, it is difficult to describe, but some of the music is just epic, especially a battle track called ‘Tower of Dawn’; by the time it plays, you notice it just as you have become extremely combat proficient, you know shit is going down.

A brilliant thing about this game is how the Prince narrates it, every time you pause it, you hear the Prince say “You don’t want me to finish my story?” or something of the like, when you save “Alright, I will continue my story from here next time” and even when you die, the Prince retcons it with “No no no, that's not the way it happened. Shall I start again?”. I never got tired of hearing him and his narration. He even calls himself out on it when he talks to himself “why am I talking to myself. STOP TALKING TO YOURSELF!” If I was a woman, my heart would swoon for him.

To sum up, I just loved this game. I was sceptical going in, as I heard that PoP 2008 fans and SoT fans were pretty split, but I loved both equally. The story in SoT, which really doesn’t come together until the end, definitely wins out though; I just love the quirky Prince.

91 out of 100 grains of sand.





Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

“You Bitch!” the battle hardened Protagonist exclaims.

... Who is this jerk and what have you done with my beloved Prince?

That was my first impression. ‘Let’s make it Grimdark for the hell of it!’. Everything was a shade of grey, the music is annoying as hell and the Prince is a weary ass hole. Good thing the platforming and story save the fuck out of this game then.

I guess I had a similar experience with this game as I did with The Sands of Time; It grew on me. The platforming was harder, maybe because of a lot of stupid camera angles, it was a lot more demanding as well, as the fabled Sands become in high demand at certain points, sometimes I ran out of sands and had to rely on a single far back save point; frustrating, but at the same time, rewarding. Combat was harder, maybe because of a lot of stupidly annoying enemies, some enemies dodge all you attacks and can only be counter-attacked, some guys can attack past your block, others can attack you from a distance, it only gets frustratingly annoying when they all gang up on you at once; this caused me to search for unintentional ways past them at points, one saving grace for the combat, however, is the ability to pick up fallen foe’s weapons that you could throw, in addition to your increasingly powerful primary sword of course.

The story was a lot more involving and complicated that the first game though, in fact, it reminded me a little of Planescape: Torment; it wasn’t an epic journey to save the world, but about a man trying to save himself, in this case, The Prince is getting hunted by the Dahaka, a beast that is in charge of the timeline, the Prince should be dead, so the Dahaka tries to make it so; the Prince goes to the Island of Time to stop the sands of time from ever being created, therefore the Dahaka will have no quarrel with him. Of course there are quite a few twists and turns, but it is needless to say that I enjoyed this story.



This game seemed a lot longer than Sands of Time, but I have a feeling that it is mostly due to the large amount of backtracking that is required made even worse if you want the collectables and Life upgrades. The final battle was just fantastic (I battled the Dahaka instead of the Empress because I spent extra time acquiring all of the life upgrades, totally worth it), a lot more interesting and epic that the Sands of Time final boss. While I am here, I feel obliged to mention the numerous bugs, most of them small, but apparently there is a game breaking bug that requires restarting the game, luckily I didn’t run into it, but I felt like I ran into every other small bug that existed.

The Main Characters were: The Prince, Kaileena and the Dahaka.

To summarise, I enjoyed bits of this more than Sands of Time, such as the story and crazy platforming, but Sands of Time still wins out on aesthetic and music (By the end of Warrior Within, I never wanted to hear an electric guitar ever again.)

82 out of 100 grains of sand.





Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

“Time is precious. Time is fleeting. Time... Is something you have very little of.”

Yay, the Prince is back baby!

The Prince has returned to his home: Babylon. But that evil Vizier is back and he wants to be a god... what an asshole. This final instalment in the trilogy really brings the Prince back to his roots, aesthetically, it’s a lot more in line with The Sands of Time, but the improved combat and platforming gimmicks are taken from Warrior Within.

The Story follows the second ending of Warrior Within where the Prince kills the Dahaka (Now you can see why I pained to get the life upgrades last time), Anyway, killing the Dahaka saves Kaileena, but royally fucks with time, undoing everything in the first game. So the Prince and Kaileena sail into Babylon and the game begins. Action right off the bat.

Another thing I like about this, is the fact that Kaileena narrates the game in the exact same way the Prince narrated Sands of Time, this brought a smile to my face. I’ll just brush over the plot here and say that the Vizier f*cks shit up, becomes a sort of god, and the Prince is almost turned into a sand monster. Luckily for him, he grabbed the Dagger of Time: the primary weapon in this game. So you go on a mission to kill the Vizier and accept your mistakes in life. Simple enough.

The pros here are: Aesthetically, it looks fantastic, the linear journey through the entirety of Babylon never upsets the eyes. The music is great, they dropped the shit from Warrior Within and went with music similar to Sands of Time, as well as making the game actually feel like it bringing the trilogy full circle, it sounds fantastic. Another pro is your counter-part: The Dark Prince. This guy is your alter-ego, your voice in your head, he gives you the power to transform into an actual Dark Prince/Sand creature-type thing. This makes combat extremely easy, gives you more platforming abilities with your dagger-tail-chain-whip-thing and any sands you collect fully restore your health, the only downside is that your health constantly drains in this form until you reach a body of water that changes you back, it broke up the gameplay and gave you more toys to play with, what’s not to like? The platforming without enemies, that’s what. Too many a time did I die without a single source of sand; I sure put the pressure on though, I’ll give it that. Back to the gameplay; a few times during the game, you are given control of a chariot as you race through the city to your next destination: I dislike this, it felt tacked on and crashing into a corner or wall was far too easy, every trip drained my sand tank.

Moving on, there were plenty of boss battles in this game, a change from the last two. All of them were different and required different strategies to defeat, from 20ft tall creatures to your nemesis, they all felt unique and satisfying to beat.

Another addition to the game is stealth kills: where you sneak up behind a baddie and use the action button, wait until your dagger glows blue, then stab the living shit out of them without alerting anyone else. I found this tricky at first, but it soon became invaluble and badass.



The bad things about the game include the extra long detour around the city, I mean, there’s a god to kill, your people are dying and it feels like you are taking the most scenic route through the city, it really slows the pace down, it just seemed a lot more noticeable this time. When I played through the game, I wasn’t really engaged, I was mostly playing out of habit, and sometimes it just didn’t grab me. As for the end fight, well, it really didn’t feel epic enough, there was too much rolling around and not enough fireworks, so to speak. It’s nearly redeemed by the final blow, however, where the Prince jumps up, time freezes, the camera does a 360 spin around him, before he stabs the fuck out of the Vizier, hundreds of feet above the tallest tower that is towering thousands of feet above the city.

Next up, the characters. The Prince himself is a lot more enjoyable this time, the charisma of the SoT prince with the skills of the WW, made a great protagonist. Meanwhile, the Dark Prince was freakin’ hilarious, I’m pretty sure he’s my favourite voice in my head of all time... if that made sense. He always has something to say and helpful advice while having fun ridiculing the Prince. Kaileena had an ever-lasting presence throughout the game with her narration, even though you only see her at the beginning and the end, I felt her role was gimped, but I can understand her absence as Farah is back. Yes, Princess Farah is back, with chainmail and a better bow, while not as involved as she was in SoT, you still help each other out and she still saves your ass a few times, the only bad thing here was the fact that it felt that you were always chasing her and trying to catch up to her, you never really teamed up to kick some serious ass. The Vizier is an asshole as usual. Aaaaand the rest of the cast was forgettable. Oh, except that old man in a cutscene who is all like “Goooo my Prince, defeat the bad guy, the citizens will fight the sand army and buy you time! Gooooooo!” what a classy bearded man, I hope he survived that battle.

In conclusion, this was an absolute blast to play and a fantastic end to the Trilogy, the pros far outweigh the cons and the story ties up in a nice circle.

I’ll give it 90 out of 100 grains of sand.



So, Now I’ll look at the Trilogy as a whole...
...Man, I don’t know where to even start, it was incredible. Sure, it was excessive platforming, it dragged in quite a few places and the camera was never really fixed, but it was one hell of a journey. Looking back on it, I did enjoy myself. A few save-points a day for the past month has been entertaining as hell. I had to take it in doses. A few levels a day keeps the sand monsters away.

The Memorable Cast:


The Star of the games.
Prince: No no no, that's not the way it happened. Shall I start again?


What’s a game without a beautiful woman who can kick your ass?
Kaileena: I have seen your future... And it does not look good.
Farah: Look! a crack!


On the Left: Asshole. In the middle: I don’t even know who this guy is, I like him though. On the Right: The best character in the series.
Vizier: Give me the dagger; you have unleashed the sands of time. I can undo what you have done... Give it to me!
Old Man: [Honestly, I can’t remember, but it was inspiring]
Dark Prince: Tick tock, Prince. Tick, tock.


Great characters, but now, back to the meta-plot: I’m a sucker for time-travel things, and this takes the cake, it’s extremely difficult, but with the ability to rewind time, it makes it easier, but by limiting that power, it evens itself out. I’ll take rewinding time, to checkpoints any day.

So, ask me: What is The Sands of Time Saga?

It is an epic journey of time, a battle against the darkest foes and fears, it is the views of impossible feats and jumps, a story of redemption and accepting consequences, it is the making of a hero, it is a love story, it is a race against and for time.

It. Is. Awesome.

I just fucked with time. Time is my bitch, the laws of causality will obey me. For I have known: The Sands of Time.

You see, Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you: they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am or why I say this. Sit down and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard.   read


12:09 PM on 06.25.2010  

Resonance of Fate: Guns, guns and more guns.


Also known as End of Eternity.

What do you get when you mix Firefly, a dash of Final Fantasy, Valkyria Chronicles and a John Woo film?
You get Resonance of Fate.

I keep hearing that its set in a ‘Steam-punk’ world, WRONG! I never saw any steam; It’s more of a ‘Clockwork-punk’ world, with lots and lots of gears. SO, apparently there was some huge world disaster and the remaining humans built a gigantic device called Basel, to cleanse the air and land. ‘Basel’ is a freakin’ huge tower; I thought it was some huge terra-forming complex at first, actually, I guess it kind of is. Anyway, those pesky humans decided to make a life out of it and decided to build houses and extra levels and themeparks and stuff on it. Nice idea, because I like the place, it has a very nice aesthetic.


Fuck you Gravity!

But this game, is not a AAA by far, but I have a love for the underdogs.
Now there is one thing I need to get off my chest:
This is the most ridiculously stupid ‘Rule of Cool’ game I have ever played, what were the creators thinking? I don’t know, but I love them for it.
I don’t think that the creators realize just how guns work. Or gravity. Or a whole lot of other stuff.
That's a good thing. Call of Duty, watch your ammunition stockpiles.


What.

Let’s talk about the guns, you get Pistols and Machine guns. That’s it. But through defeated enemies and side-quests you can enhance them with some ridiculous upgrades, ranging from scopes to ammunition. There isn’t really a limit on this though, that’s what I love, as long as everything is properly attached, you can fill up the entire grid of the gun with enhancements.

I had a high mount pro laser pointer scope, pointing through a sniper rifle scope which was pointing through two more scopes that had 2 scopes on top. The gun itself had 9 barrels to fire the bullets from, using an extended magazine. This was just a pistol.

I only wished that this was reflected on the actual gun model in the game, not just the schematics. Although, thinking about that, I don’t think the game could handle it. If you put that much awesome on a gun and rendered it in 3d, the game would surely break.


If you gotta kill something, at least do it in STYLE.

So, the gameplay is a combination of real-time and turn-based shooting. First you select a character, then you move said character around and start shooting shit up, you have an ‘Action gauge’ exactly like Valkyria Chronicles and the turn ends when its drained, either by moving or shooting (or both.) Enemies have the same deal, but can shoot and charge up attacks while you’re prancing around, so you have to move wisely. As you level up, you can charge your gun up for longer periods to produce more powerful attacks and the attack is carried out when the charge meter is full, this is a necessity at every point past the first level.

Now comes the interesting and weird part. There are two types of damage you can deal: “scratch” damage is dealt by machine guns, and machine guns sure do a lot of it, damage ranges in the thousands for every attack, but the catch is, it can’t kill anything by its own and baddies can regenerate ‘scratched’ health. To actually kill something you have convert the scratch damage to direct damage with pistols and explosives, but on their own, pistols do a measly amount of damage, as in under 5 damage for every bullet.

So you can move around the field of battle as you wish, but the best part of the game comes when you use a Hero Action. Hero Actions slow down time and speed up your shots, while allowing you to flip through the air, shooting ‘til your heart’s content until you hit the ground again. Of course, this isn’t free, it costs a ‘Bezel’ in your Hero Gauge, I’ll be blunt here, if your Hero Gauge ever runs out of Bezels: You’re fucked. You go into ‘Critical Condition’ where you leap around like a deer in the headlights with a sprained ankle, every enemy can now cause direct and permanent damage to you and you can only fire single shots. If you manage to kill something in this weakened state though and pick up shattered Bezel Shards, then you can start refilling your Hero Gauge again.


I'm seeing hexagons. HEXAGONS EVERYWHERE. OH GOD.

Outside of the battles, there’s a overhead world map to move your pointer in. You have to use ‘Hexes’ to unlock new places and elevators to other levels. These are earned in battle.
But you can also move about in certain locations, such as some towns with shops (Shops to buy gun related stuff and shops with clothes, like a HUGE selection of clothes; mostly just pattern-swaps, unfortunately) and other useful places; this proves to be a nice distraction. I actually got a bit of a Longest Journey vibe from the home town, seriously just add a million gears of all shapes and sizes, and it could be the exact same place as New Venice.

Levelling up has a nice touch, you get seperate levels for your Pistol skills, Machine Gun skills and Grenade skills. For example, enemies don't give XP, the act of using a Machine Gun does, the more damage you do, the more XP you get for that weapon. All of these levels combine to give you a 'Master Level' so to speak. By swapping what weapons soemone uses, and keep changing it, you can gain levels (and incidently, more Hit Points) at a much faster pace.

I have heard some people say that it had a steep learning curve. I strongly disagree. The game just gets way, way easier when you get more Bezel shards to increase your Hero Gauge. You see, at first, you reserve your hero actions for only the most difficult boss fights. But a few more hours in the game and you are using them for every move in every battle, as you can easily refill the Hero Gauge by defeating multiple enemies with ease in a single turn.


Someone is about to get absolutely obliterated. Hint: It's the enemy.

The story itself is told in quite an episodic manner, each chapter has its own ‘story of the week’ vibe to it, with every other one linking to the overall plot. I have to mention that this game really had me laughing out loud, really hard, as in milk spilt from nose hard, at certain points (especially the cutscenes from the Christmas mission, where you have to hand out presents to kids. The best part is that you throw the presents just like grenades) So its worth the long trip just for the humour.

[embed]177536:31020[/embed]
The weirdest mission request. You'll never look at Nathan Drake the same way again.


Although, I have to say that the story never reaches epic proportions, even though it seems like it will, the opponents and challenges keep building, but then kind of fall flat on the last chapter. With your team spouting comments about ‘I believe in myself!’ and ‘I have faith!’ I felt that the final battles were less incredible gun shooting and more ‘BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF LOVE!!’

But I don’t mind this. Because the three lead characters are fantastic.

I’ll just briefly describe them to you.

Vashyron is the father type figure, he’s a freelance hunter, taking all kinds of missions from the Guild for rewards and money. Personally my favourite character. And he’s voiced by Nolan North. It took me 3 chapters to realize this, but this makes him come across as a Nathan Drake/Captain Mal guy. Once again: I like this. He makes all sorts of snide comments.

Zephyr is that brooding emo kid. After getting hunted and surviving 2 bullets to the head from Vashyron (due to some kind of magic miracle something that I never really understood), he now makes a living with the guy. Nice. The main thing wrong with this character, is that he never really has any development; he’s moody from beginning to end. Yeah, actually, he’s a pretty weak character. But he shoots like a crazy mofo, so I can see why they keep him around.

Leanne is the token girl of the trio, she also lives and makes a living with Vashyron after she tried to take her own life by jumping off the tallest bridge I have ever seen in a videogame. But Zephyr saves her, PLAN=FOILED. She has the most interesting back story of the lot and also the best costumes. Seriously, mid-air flipping while shooting + skirt= Good times.

The way these three interact is what made the game for me.

Leanne: "Do you want me on offence or defence?"
Vashyron: "Leanne goes both ways. Good to know."
Zephyr: "Hey, save it, why don'tcha?"


Do NOT mess with Token chick, Emo dude and Nathan Drake with ponytail.

So, I like this game, but I can see that it’s not for everyone. The story kept me interested, as did the game-play, so no problems there. It is definitely one of the better JRPG’s, I have played, although I’ll admit, I have not played that many.

TL;DR- Good game, although flawed. Not for everyone.

But it still gets:

89 Bullets out of a 100 bullet clip.
With a scope attached. No wait, 5 scopes... And 4 barrels... and 6 grips... and there may be a gun attached there as well, it’s kind of hard to tell.


Dude, where did we park?   read


6:47 AM on 01.10.2010  

Why it took me 6 years to complete Jet Set Radio Future


The Game and a picture of myself after I had played it for the first time. Yes that is me 6 years ago.


UNDERSTAND UNDERSTAND, UNDERSTAND UNDERSTAND, UNDERSTAND UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF LOVE!!!
- The first words you hear when you boot up JSRF.

At first, I was ashamed to tell this story, but it involves the great game known as Jet Set Radio Future, so I'll tell it anyway. Another plus side is that it has a moral. This is the story of why it took me 6 years to complete Jet Set Radio Future:

2003: This was the year I got Jet Set Radio Future in a bundle pack with Sega GT 2002 on my very first Xbox. It was the second game I tried. I had no idea it would take me 6 years to finish, but this is where it all began. After starting it up, I found it hard, I just couldn’t get used to the controls, but I loved the music and the style of it all, unfortunately I kept getting lost, my young mind wasn't that good at comprehending maps back then. I'll tell you what was fun though, creating your own sprays, god, My sprays sucked, but I loved it., it never got old. I played it on and off for a while, but I preferred other games like Halo, Dead or Alive 3 and 007:Nightfire at the time.


Grinding is my cause

2004: I got back into it because it was there on top of my Xbox, taunting me. I continued to plug away at it until I got to a boss fight, if I recall, it was that bastard cop in a giant mecha of some sort. I took me several weeks before I managed to not fall off to the ground and spray that mother f***er dead. Then it was on/off for a year until I got lost in The Skyscraper District and Pharaoh Park, I just didn't know where to go and I wasn't good enough to continue, I tried for weeks, but I just got bored, so I gave up and forgot about it.


The police. Fuuuuuuuuccckkkkkkk Yoooooouuuuuu!

2005: Ignored it for other commitments and games, I was also in the FPS crowd at this time I just wasn't interested in good games. If I could go back in time and kick my younger self for thinking such things, I totally would. Hey, what's that bruise on my shin?

2006: I was '360' heavy this year, foolishly thinking that the 'Next Gen' was the way forward. One rainy day though, I plugged in my original Xbox and booted it up; opened my save, remembered my days of frustration then turned it off.


Art, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, YEAH!
In a related note, I hated that 'Graffiti is art but also vandalism' message that appeared every time you booted it up. I mean, if games influenced us, we'd all be eating pills in a dark room while listening to repetitive music.

2007: Ignored it all year due to my commitment to my 360, I didn’t think I would go back to the original Xbox. I can't believe I just ignored it again, what a crime against humanity! This was also the year I got an HDTV, I foolishly thought that looking at SDTV again would burn my eyes out or something.

2008: I did play some old Xbox games due to the need and urge for something old. Completely Forgot about JSRF though and I'll tell you why: it was because the JSRF/SegaGT2002 bundle Disc came in a little paper wallet and, not wanting it damaged, I put that in one of those old Xbox magazine demo disc cases. Hot Damn, talk about bad planning.


The military sent TANKS AFTER YOU! HOW HARDCORE! FIGHT THE POWER, YEAH!!!

2009: This was the year I made a promise to myself to complete as many games as possible. By chance I saw and downloaded the soundtrack. Memories came flooding back, soon, I told myself, I'd get to it soon, and this time, it would be different. I finally got around to JSRF the second week of March. I booted it up, but I had long forgot what I was supposed to be doing, So I decided to start a new game. I grew tired of the tutorials, but had gained my skating skills back. I loaded up the blasted Save file containing my Demise. I boosted like the freakin' Fist of the North Star, somehow I progressed and wondered why I had been stuck all this time, I think Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider Legend helped me acquire the necessary platforming skills, thinking back on it. I said to myself "Right, I'm going to make it right to the end" All my other games and priorities went on hold for a week. After 6 years, I finally understood the game. I blazed through the world, laughing at the idea of a young Nick struggling at the game.


My two most used characters. On the left: Rhyth, on the right, Gum, why these two? why play as girls? I think it was the short dresses. Call it male instinct combined with the need for some decent acceleration.

So I changed my character from Gum to Rhyth and began grinding rails like there was no tomorrow, why was I using such a slow character such as Gum? I wish I could ask my younger self.
A sunny Saturday morning arrived. I knew I was nearing the end. 11:45am, I defeated the final boss, I'd done it, adrenaline was pumping through my vains, I’d actually done it! I began Jumping up and down while I did the dance of awesomeness as the credits rolled, I realized I had finally completed my quest.

To quote DJ Professor K: JET! SET! RAAAADDDDIIIIOOOO! FFFFFFFFUUUUUTTTTTUUUUUUURRRREEE!!!

Listening to banging tunes while grinding?= Priceless.

Mini Review:
Gameplay: 8/10 (What can I say, there's nothing quite like it)
Sound: 9/10 (I love the music, apart from one song called Birthday Cake, god that was annoying)
Visuals: 9/10 (The Cel-shaded style is perfect, can't really fault it here)


I loved how everyone was dancing at the GG's hideout. This is also what I call 'The Dance of Awesome'.

Will I ever go back to it? Maybe. It may of sounded stupid, as I'm sure many of you had no trouble completing JSRF at all. But keep in mind that as a gamer, I've come a long way. I wasn't always diverse, but I think JSRF has broken that part of me. I Love it. But I also realize that this game was truly unique, there may never be another one quite like it. Do we need a sequel? God Yes.

So if you find yourself with a game collecting dust on the back shelf, for the LOVE OF GOD. Go back to it and show it who's boss, who knows? You might just come out with a new favorite game.   read


10:44 AM on 01.09.2010  

11 Awesome Sequels we will never get. Ever.


Or How I learned to start worrying about 11 Sequels I would Kill for

Some sequels will never happen, I've learned to live with that painful truth. But while I am crying myself to sleep in a corner, let me tell you of the most painful tragedies. In a day and age of many poor sequels and spin-offs, the forgotten ones are unable to live on.



11. Prince of Persia (2008) 2
Let's face it, PoP 2008 wasn't well received by the old fans, but I, myself, enjoyed it immensely. It ended at a bloody cliffhanger, so we all expected a sequel. But instead of doing a sequel to a beautiful game, we get Prince of Persia: The Game Based On The Movie Based On The Game. B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T. So is PoP2008 deserving of a sequel? Just about, sequels are meant for improvement, I believe that if there were to be a sequel, it would have a chance to improve by miles; just look at Assassin's Creed 2, I can't even count the number of improvements they made.



10. Jade Empire 2
Often regarded as one of Bioware's most under-appreciated games, Jade Empire had a wonderful world, a great story and a good real-time combat system. Imagine the possibilities! The world is big enough for a sequel, I'd love to see the Jade Empire of the future! It's just a shame we'll never get to see it.


9. Republic Commando 2 (Imperial Commando?)
This is one of the most tragic things on this list. Because Republic Commando did get a sequel, a shitty one on the mobile phone: Republic Commando: Order 66. But luckily for us, it's not canon! Yaaay. The bad news it that Lucusarts would rather make another Sub-par Force Unleashed game. Boo! Republic Commando may not have been original, but it took the best of squad shooters and put it in a well imagined Star Wars universe. The weapons each felt useful, there wasn't 30 of the same submachine gun for example, the droids were formidable (A Room full of SBD's, and destroyers anyone?) and the Wookies looked amazing, huge powerful beasts that easily rip enemies apart. Some people need to understand that there is more to star wars than freakin' Jedi, much more, I'm almost sick of the Jedi/Sith rubbish. There was no reason to forget about this potential franchise, but it's just another casualty in the war. Sev? SEV? SEEEEEEEEEEEV!!!!


8. The Longest Journey 2
I'm not talking about Dreamfall, I'm talking about an actual sequel starring my favorite protagonist; April Ryan. The Longest Journey captured the hearts of many adventure gamers, but all we got was a spin off called Dreamfall instead of a sequel; don't get me wrong, I loved the story of Dreamfall, but the gameplay was, quite frankly, appalling.
The games were supposed to go: The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Dreamfall Chapters, The Longest Journey 2. Unfortunately, the way Funcom is going, with the falling Age of Conan and The Secret World, two MMO's destined to fail, we won't ever see another Long, single-player Journey.


7. No One Lives Forever 3
The NOLF franchise, regarded as amazing games that sold extremely poorly. We could have really used a light-hearted, comical Spy warfare game this day and age. When will people realize that we don't want 'Darker Sequels' we want our favorite characters, locations and story to continue! The thing about NOLF is that not many people knew about it, yet everyone knows about F.E.A.R and average action-horror FPS, where is the justice in that? If you haven't heard of a certain game called No One Lives Forever, then do yourself a favor; get it now, enjoy it later. Then send thousands of emails to Monolith begging for a sequel.


6. System Shock 3
BioShock is a good game right? Yes? Now play System Shock and System Shock 2.... BioShock is a good game right? No? It is a simplistic FPS? Why that's right Lassie! System Shock 2 gave birth to THE best villain of all time, SHODAN, it would be a crime not to give her another game, you see, System Shock 2 managed to be a stand alone story that is fully complete, let still leaves room for a sequel. Without spoiling anything for those who have not played System Shock 2, let's just say that SHODAN is live and kicking and ready for a sequel that will never be. I'll see you when BioShock 4 comes around.


5. Jedi Knight 4 (Jedi Academy 2?)
Oh, the Jedi Knight series, it was only a matter of time before I got here. I love this series to death, the story of Kyle Katarn and his Lightsaber was passed down to a -Create-Your-Own-Character padawan in Jedi Academy, although the story didn't quite stand on its own two feet, the gameplay it what counted, Lightsabers in this game do what they are supposed to: Cut-Through-Shit. Want to chop that stormtroopers arm off? Go right ahead. Want to lop that dark jedi's arm and leg off? Have fun! You see, these are the only true Jedi where you actually feel like a true Jedi, with a true jedi weapon, not a big plastic glowing rod. Just another casualty of LucasArts.


4. Homeworld 3
THE best 3D RTS space sim, bar none. Homeworld showed us that Real Time Strategy games could have an emotional and heart-felt story, without ever directly showing people. Imagine the scale a third game could have had? What I'd give to see the Mothership again. ALL SHIPS AUTO LAUNCHING. Kharack is burning, there aint nothing that can ever stop that. Eat your Command and Conquer, I'll stay with Homeworld, re-playing them until the apocalypse comes.


3. Timesplitters 4
ARgh! We almost had this one, but it slipped away from our grasp at the last year. Free Radical was assimilated by Crytek, you'd think that the rights to a much loved franchise that makes people laugh with tears of joy would be important enough for production. All we got was some concept art of a monkey. What a disappointment. Timepslitters co-op and Multi-player will be sorely missed, you see, most my friends never experienced this, but by the time I found out about it, it was too late.


2. Psychonauts 2
Everybody loves Psychonauts and would love more, that it a pure fact. Tim Schafer does not do sequels, that is also a pure fact. Mr. Schafer creates amazing stories, but his company, Double Fine, aren't the best at creating the gameplay in these worlds. Psychonauts was so full of charm and character, that everyone instantly fell in love with it, heck, Psychonauts even managed to give an ending which set itself perfectly up for a fun-loving sequel, imagine going into the minds of real killers and Psychopaths as a member of the Psychonauts, unveiling a conspiracy that threatens the very world. Here I go again, I'll have to forget about this one as well.


1. Freespace 3
Incoming ships. Hostile configuration. The most amazing space simulator to ever grace this earth, even TIE FIGHTER can't hold a candle to this juggernaut, the scale of this game is just beyond words, ships, thousands of kilometers long blasting at each other, while you and the other fighter pilots fly in-between, knocking out vital systems and trying to out-maneuver those assault fighters with your tiny bomber that packs a punch. Freespace 2 plays on any computer, I'd highly recommend picking it up and cowering in the glory of the campaign. Just try not to think what it would look like if there was a sequel in this day and age, oh god, I'm drooling just thinking about it. I'd better stop here.


So there you go. 11 Games we will never ever see. I'm confident about that, even though it breaks my heart. If by some miracle, these are made, I will eat my shoe and do the dance of Joy while cartwheeling naked down my street. Fight the Power!   read


2:23 PM on 12.31.2009  

My 10 Favorite games of this Decade

Without a doubt, this has been the best decade for Video Gaming Yet, everyone has their favorites, allow me to tell you mine. Narrowing my list down to ten was not easy, but this is as final as its going to get, here's hoping next decade is even better.


10. Left 4 Dead
"Grabbin' Pills"

Valve. 2008. (PC/XBOX 360)
My dreams come true, cooperative zombie killing. Probably the most re-playable game I've encountered, this game taught me a valuable lesson: Shooting Zombies in the face rarely, if ever, gets old. I also love the personality this game has, from the protagonists, to the funky music you get every time you reach a safe room. In fact, I'll be right back, I'm just going to change my ringtone...

9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
"All you had to do was follow the damn train CJ!"

Rockstar North. 2004. (PS2/XBOX)
I played this so much, I made it to Max health, jumping from planes without a parachute and surviving to steal some hotdogs then a car has never felt so great. This game knows hat it is, it's not realistic, its just fun, the scale is also impressive, with the ability to drive or fly every vehicle you come across.

8. No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M's Way
"You ever swallow a lit cigar?"

Monolith. 2002. (PC)
This is a hilarious game very few people have played, it fulfilled two of my fantasies: being a secret agent and being a woman. Wait, forget about that last part. Anyway, it more than exceeded my expectations and though no one seems to agrees with me, I prefer this one to the original. Great enemies, decent locations, a fun story and a wide array of weapons and gadgets, including a banana.

7. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
"TIME TO SPLIT!"

Free Radical Design. 2005. (PS2/XBOX/Gamecube)
Jumping through time to save the future, who knew that such a cliche sounding FPS could be so fantastic, one of my favorite adventures. With a genuinely funny main character and a brilliant cast of characters, Time-hopping has never been so epic.

6. Psychonauts
"So this is it... the mental world."

Double Fine. 2005. (PS2/XBOX/PC)
Psychic summer-camp is amazing, I have never laughed so much with a game, I keep coming back for more of this game's wonderful humour and characters. What a world, and brains, and worlds in brains.

5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
"That's the way to tell the meatbags master! Charging blasters, this should be fun."

BioWare. 2003. (XBOX/PC)
Sorry Tie Fighter and Jedi Knight, this is still the best Star Wars game I have ever played, heck, I think this showed me that I really love RPG's. Some fantastic world, a well crafted story and a (Mostly) decent cast of characters. This game gave birth to HK-47, there was no way it could have been left of this list.

4. Halo
"Slow down, you're losin' me!"

Bungie. 2001. (XBOX/PC)
Countless hours were spent with my friend here, the Warthog is my favorite vehicle bar none, this game prompted me to get an Xbox, my first home console I had to myself. I actually enjoy Halo for the story, the colorful enemies, the flawless transition from First person to vehicle driving and lastly... Cortana, who knew AI's could be so hot?

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
"How the hell am I supposed to take down a Hel-loooooo!"

Naughty Dog. 2009. (PS3)
Ha, oh Nathan Drake, you showed me that Protagonists can be funny and serious, this is the most fast paced, stunning ride I have ever been on, everything about this game, from the graphics to the game-play is pure greatness.

2. Valkyria Chronicles
"Squad 7... MOVE OUT!"

Sega. 2008. (PS3)
This game intrigued me so much, I bought a PS3 for it. No regrets, it has such a touching story that shows fighting is more than shooting faceless bad guys, the squad is your family. This is one of the few games that has me looking forward to the cutscenes. It also makes me happy by making me feel like a tactical genius. Every potential squad mate (There's over 50 of them) has a unique personality.

1. The Longest Journey
"Life should carry a big yellow caution-sticker. It's certain to kill you sooner or later."

Funcom. 2000. (PC)
I have yet to find a game that topples this. It may have seemed long and dull when I was playing through it for the first time, but by the end, I was in love this the world(s) in this game. It also stars one of my favorite Protagonists, April Ryan. This has to be one of the best games to look back on, because you look back on one hell of a journey.   read


10:52 AM on 12.29.2009  

My Top 10 Favorite Playable Guys in Gaming.



Now I like playing a pure killing machine as much as the next guy, but sometimes I enjoy playing someone I can relate to.
When you're asked who you like playing as, you immediately think of the most badass warrior you can, Kratos, Master Chief, Doom Guy. But guys in video games aren't just killing machines. Certain games have evolved beyond that, giving the player characters who you can relate to, characters who can even hold a relationship.
RPG's have plenty of these, but sometimes, I don't want to build a character, or choose how they progress, sometimes it's nice to just be a ready made character who develops on their own.

Here's ten guys that will fuck your shit up, fight for freedom or another miscellaneous cause and still have time to fall in love.



10. The Prince
From Prince of Persia
Let's start this list with the Prince. Now, this may be controversial, but I actually like this Prince, he's lighthearted, always has a witty comment or two and is just looking for his donkey. But beneath that, he is actually a caring hero in disguise, and he throws away the world for what he cares about most.
Badass Rating: 7/10. He easily dispatches the best of the corrupted warriors.
Love interest?: Elika



9. Chris Redfield
From Resident Evil (5)
Zombies, Majini, creatures from nightmares, Chris here will take 'em town. Always honest and trustworthy to a partner, Chris will fight to make the world a safer place.
Badass Rating: 8/10. When the boulder doesn't move, he punches it into submission.
Love interest?: Jill Valentine?



8. Frank West
From Dead Rising
Let's just say that 53,000 zombies VS Frank isn't a fair match- to the zombies. While I would hide in abasement during a zombie outbreak, Frank goes looking for survivors and the photojournalist in him uncovers a massive conspiracy. This is one guy you want to stick next too.
Badass Rating: 9/10. He smashed through thousands of zombies with his bare hands.
Love interest?: Isabella



7. Max Payne
From Max Payne (2)
What appears to be a 'shoot first', pill addicted man is actually a poor tormented soul. Luckily he meets his match in Mona Sax. Max is one of the better heroes because he does what many can't; he forgives himself for his family's death at the end of The Fall Of Max Payne. This man fights for what he believes in.
Badass Rating: 8/10. Kills hundreds of mobs (In slow motion) and shows Vlad who's boss.
Love interest?: Mona Sax



6. Ezio Auditore da Firenze
From Assassin's Creed 2
A young member of the Florentine Nobility and the second son of Giovanni Auditore, an Assassin. This guy packs all of Leanado Davinci's inventions and more. Duel wielding hidden blades? check. Flying machine? Check. Gun? Check. His 10 year quest to avenge his family is undertaken and completed with nothing short of pure skill.
Badass Rating:8/10. Not one, but two hidden blades. 'Nuff said.
Love interest?: Let's just say he's a ladies man.



5. Welkin Gunther
From Valkyria Chonicles
Commander of Squad 7 of the Militia, Welkin takes after his late father, who was an expert in tactics and warfare. Welkin is a loving squad commander, who genuinely cares for his squad, no matter what they think of him.
Badass Rating: 5/10. Full of good ideas, though rarely goes into foot combat himself.
Love interest?: Alicia Melchiott



4. Sergent Cortez
From TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
A space marine with style. Cortez battles the evil timesplitters through time and space, helping other heroes along the way. Cortez is an experienced fighter. If anything disagrees with him, he'll blow it the fuck up. Also unintentionally hilarious.
Badass Rating: 8/10. Restores time to it's original state while killing every foe imaginable.
Love interest?: Anya



3. Kyle Katarn
From Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Born a farmer, trained a Stormtrooper, worked as a mercenary and a Rebel agent, self-taught as a Jedi Knight. He's a crack shot, can use the Force and a lightsaber to obliterate anything which stands in his way.
Badass Rating: 8/10. 'To know the light, you must see the dark'. Those poor stormtroopers...
Love interest?: Jann Ors



2. Nathan Drake
From Uncharted: Among Thieves
A treasure hunter of sorts, Nate is a witty protagonist who manages unbelievable feats. You could send an army to thwart him, but he'll still keep coming. Dedicated and caring, this guy knows when to call it quits, until someone drags him back into it.
Badass Rating: 9/10. I swear this guy is indestructible, he survives a gunshot from a cutscene.
Love interest?: Elena Fisher



1. Manny Calavera
From Grim Fandango
Quite the unusual game protagonist, because he's already dead. Manny owes the powers that be some community service, so he acts as a travel agent to the recently deceased. Manny himself eventually goes on the 4 year journey of the soul, discovering a huge conspiracy of No.9 tickets on the way. Manny thwarts Hector's plan and helps return the tickets to all the good souls who deserve them, getting himself one in the process. Manny is kind-hearted, resourceful and always ready to give a helping hand.
Badass Rating: 5/10. Manny's more of a smooth talker,he still sprouts Hector though.
Love interest?: Mercedes "Meche" Colomar

So there you have it. There are a lot more characters which didn't make my top ten, but they still exist, which is what counts. Here's hoping for far more to come. Keep in mind that these aren't the universally chosen best characters, they're just my favorite.

I dare you to name your favorite.   read


3:09 AM on 10.28.2009  

My journey through Video Game history.


From Halo to Homeworld.

"Were you on Halo last Night?"
No, I was gripped on Homeworld.

This is a story of my journey through Video Game history. How I got from Gears of War to Grim Fandango.

My first console was an Xbox, the 5th game I played on said Xbox was Halo. Now I was too poor to get a N64 or even a Playstation, or anything that preceded it. I made do with my dad's computer, playing snake, battle zone and asteroids. Soon I was owning my own games, such as Age of empires and Rogue Squadron. But after that it was just playing demo's.

Years and years later, I got an Xbox for a present, recommended by a friend. Let me tell you, an Xbox is not a bad first console to have. Gradually, I grew apart from the old PC and went into shooters for the Xbox.


From Fable to Freespace.

This trend continued into the next generation, when I got an Xbox 360. A year and a half into that, I began to experiment, playing with genres which I would have never of dreamed of trying out; I did this because, my funds for games had quickly depleted and I grew bored of what I had, me! Growing bored of games! Who could have ever imagined... They just all seemed the same somehow, I yearned for something different, but I wasn't quite sure what, so I started trying out Platformers, Survival Horror, Racing, pretty much everything but sports games (It's a long story/ rant for another time). I began looking at previous generation games again. This was the turning point.


From Gears of War to Grim Fandango.

While dreadful at some of these genres, I kept at it and began to improve, then I started going back. Completing old games I never gave a second look. I completed Jet Set Radio Future after a 6 year Hiatus. I started buying old, old games for my laptop, this was when I realized what I had missed. I got seriously into adventure games, I'm still not very good at them, but I'm so in love with them I don't care, I got into Tomb Raider, a series I avoided like the plague due to some bad experiences of nausea and getting lost a long time ago. I kept going back, it was like a guilty pleasure. Everything was a new experience a new adventure.
There are so many gems that I have discovered, namely:
Grim Fandango, Homeworld ,The Longest Journey, System Shock 2, No One lives forever, American Mcgee's Alice, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Beyond Good & Evil, Psychonauts, Starcraft...

I'd better stop there, The list could go on and on and on. Now just think, I never would have played any of these if it weren't for me getting past my prejudice of old games and 'Bad Graphics'.

Some things I have noticed is that games are no longer made by gamers for gamers, by geeks for geeks; no, they are now made by companies for the consumer. Yes, graphics and gameplay have improved, but for the most part, things have become massively simple and less... I'm not quite sure how to say, it's like some magic spark is gone.


From BioShock to Broken sword.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, never write off a genre or game. Hate Halo? why not go back and try it again? Scared shitless of strategy games? Take another stab at one (With cheats enabled). Now I'm not a pro gamer, a lot of the games I have mentioned, I used cheats or a walkthrough for, but they all opened my mind up. Gaming isn't just whatever you play, gaming is much more vast. When you are unable to go forward (Due to funds or boredom or anything) then go back, keep looking back. Heck, have a stroll on Wikipedia for a few minutes, pick a title or blurb which peaks your interest. If only I could see my younger self's naive attitude towards gaming, I'd most likely point and laugh, then get the hell out of there before I fuck up the space/time continuum or something.


From Assassin's Creed to American Mcgee's Alice.

I could have gone the other way, but I'm glad my curiosity made me into the Video Gamer I am today. I guess I have a unique perspective, by going backwards instead of forwards, I can see the technological progression, but I'm not wowed or jaded by it. So, are these old games better than today's? Actually, yes, a lot of them hold up to today's standards easily. Now has never been a better time to look at older classics.

So do me a favor. For every new game you get, acquire an old one, just one. You never know, you may surprise yourself. Games have grown from a hobby, to a part of my life.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a fairly new PS3, time to see what PS1 games I've missed.


From Mass Effect to Fear Effect?   read


4:15 PM on 10.27.2009  

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review. I KILL YOU DRAKE!!


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
For Playstation 3

I'll say it now, this is one of the best games I have ever played. Although it's not without its flaws, it overshadows them with a superb single player campaign and a solid multiplayer.

If I were asked to describe it, I would call it a Tomb Raider meets Gears of War meets Indiana Jones. But that wouldn't do I justice, this is uncharted. While it does nothing new or revolutionary, it raises the bar so high, you'd need a step ladder just to see it.



Gameplay is the standard platforming, shooting and shimmying with the occasional puzzle (The notebook makes a welcome return, this time with the ability to flip pages at will, there's some quite fancy stuff here). Stealth kills are back and as great as ever, Hand-to-hand combat is simpler but equally satisfying and the variety of weapons has increased. Friendly and Hostile AI has improved, your groupies will now join the gunfight with you and do some mountain climbing by your side, and the baddies will kill you not matter what (guns not working? they will throw grenades, that not working? they'll send RPG's and snipers at you, stopping in one place will get you killed. What I would like to pick up on is the seamless blur between cutscene and gameplay: there were several moments when I didn't realize that the cutscene had ended and I had control of Drake again, while not a term I am particularly fond of, this really is a cinematic experience.



Story is a thing which many people don't deem important, but I beg to differ, while the story doesn't seem like much at first, it creates an amazing background for Drake to adventure on. The humour in this game is fantastic, I haven't laughed so hard at some jokes since Psychonauts, this is in part, thanks to the characters; Nate is as great as ever, a fantastic protagonist, Elena took a level in Badass since the first game and others like Tenzin, Chloe and Flynn make this one fantastic cast of characters, some of the interactions seem perfectly realistic and funny at the same time. So you have this Roller-coaster of an adventure, with fantastic characters, great humour, brilliant levels and they all come together to form a nice complete package.



Graphics are pretty good, one of the best looking games released, a few set pieces will leave you in awe. The attention to detail on the characters is absolutely stunning. The art direction had a lot of love and labor put in it, as is evident by the unlockable concept art.



Whoops, wrong screenshot.



The music score can only be described as Uncharted 2.0. It uses similar themes to Drake's Fortune, but ramps it up by a lot, going side by side with the intensity happening on screen. The dialogue is well written and spoken as well, it really helps these characters seem real, some quite flawless and memorable performances here.

"YOU WILL NOT STAND IN THE WAY OF DESTINY!"

The Multiplayer component is well thought out, with a huge variety of modes, including Co-op, this should keep players busy for a while. While not as good as the single-player, the multi-player is a worthwhile addition.

In summery: Better than Tomb Raider? Yes. Better than Gears of War? Yes. Better than Indiana Jones? Equal. Is it a worthy sequel? Hell Yes. Is it worth getting a PS3 for? I would say yes, it is much better than it looks, screens and trailers do not do this game justice.



Well, that's too much praise for me to handle, so here are some cons:
--Some gunfights are trial and error, I have heard that death horn hundreds of times, it becomes practice to perfect a strategy again and again and again until it works, it's even worse on the higher difficulties, What I'm saying is, there is less skill involved than blind luck and trail and error.
--The eyes: Good god, why are they so shiny? Yes, the graphics are nice, but everyone has a layer of vaseline over their eyes, it's the only thing keeping the characters in the uncanny valley.
--Platforming is incredibly simple, this makes a lot of it just seem like filler.
--Multiplayer can take an age to connect sometimes.
--Few minor bugs (Game freezing, falling through walls etc. Note that these are a rarity, happening only once or twice.)

Overall Score:

9 Crazy Drakes out of 10   read


12:21 PM on 10.09.2009  

Top 10 PC exclusive games OF ALL TIME!!

Here it is, my list of the greatest PC exclusive games of all time. Exclusive, as in, you can only play it on a computer. You won't agree with everything, but you can agree with the fact that, as long as computers have these games, PC gaming will live on.

10. American Mcgee's Alice
Third Person Action-Adventure Platforming Horror Game
Released on October 6, 2000.
Developed by Rogue Entertainment
Published by Electronic Arts



Based in the Alice in Wonderland universe, Alice is the only survivor after her house burns down. Admitted to a Metal Asylum for 10 years, The White Rabbit calls for Alice to help restore wonderland, but Alice has grown up and so has Wonderland.I'll be honest here, the gameplay isn't the best, but the real gem here is the atmosphere, it really feels like you're in a twisted version of wonderland, every classic character has changed into twisted versions of themselves. It really feels like Alice is fighting for her sanity back. This is how you do a mature game with gore (Slicing the Royal Card Guards in half never gets old). Friends become enemies, toys become weapons and the Queen of Hearts wants you dead; not a pretty scenario, but a damn good one. This is a must-have PC experience, there really is nothing quite like it.

"But I don't want to be among mad people!"
"You can't help that... we're all mad here..."


9. Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines
First Person/ Third Person Horror Action Role-Playing Game
Released November 19, 2004.
Developed by Troika Games
Published by Activision



Based on the Vampire Masquerade/ World of Darkness universe, you go deep into the world of Vampire Clans and Supernaturals foes. Released as a buggy mess, but fan restoration patches have fixed everything and more, it really shines as a fantastic game now. Gameplay can be what you want, you can choose to be stealthy, use a variety of melee weapons, go in guns blazing or just suck the blood out of every living thing. Atmosphere is also a huge factor here, visiting such places as Santa Monica, Hollywood and Chinatown, each place is distinctive and has its own nightlife, the quests are plentiful and the cast of characters are always interesting (Including a certain Schizophrenic vampire known as Jeanette). Sometimes put next to the Deus Ex for a great First person Role-playing world, this is truly a must play.

8. No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way
First Person Shooter (With Light RPG elements)
Released September 30, 2002.
Developed by Monolith Productions
Published by Sierra Entertainment



A sequel to No One Lives Forever, A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way goes even deeper into the world of spy warfare and the fight against the criminal organization H.A.R.M.How perfect can FPS controls be? Well NOLF 2 does pretty well. A variety of weapons and even greater variety of gadgets are used to fight all sorts of guards, soldiers and Ninjas. You can play how you want, whether stealth is your thing or run and gunning, but the best is a mix of the two. The locations are really fantastic and the missions are just as fun. Intel documents and completing objectives give you experience which can be sued to upgrade you accuracy, speed, ammo capacity, armor and so on. A really fun and well thought out game, NOLF and it's sequel deserve to be played by every self-respecting PC gamer.

7. PlaneScape: Torment
Role-Playing Game
Released December 12, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Black Isle Studios.
Published by Interplay



Based in an variation of the Dungeons & Dragons Universe, this game takes storytelling to a whole new level.It's difficult to keep this description short and sweet, but here goes: Torment is a fantastic story of a man who is immortal, with the classic D&D gameplay and a fantastic set of companions to choose from, this is one immersive game. This game puts up one hell of a fight in the Gameplay Vs Story debate. No matter how into RPG's you are, you owe it to yourself to give this a shot.

6. Freespace 2
First Person Space Combat Simulator
Released September 30, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Voltition, Inc.
Published by Interplay Entertainment



A sequel to Descent: Freespace, this is the greatest Space Sim of all time.The scale of this game is huge, you giant warships hundreds of kilometers long. Even 10 years after the game's release, nothing has matched the scale and intensity here, and with the way gaming is going, I'm pretty sure nothing ever will. If you have never played this, you must, dust off that Joystick and take to the skies pilot! Whoever is sitting on the rights the the Freespace franchise is sitting on a fortune.


5. Homeworld
Real-time Strategy/ Tactics Space Simulation
Released September 28, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Relic Entertainment
Published by Seirra Entertainment



An original universe, and the tale of a journey home, this is the best singleplayer RTS of all time. Best known for it engrossing story which could match RPG's and incredible soundtrack, Homeworld is Space Strategy done right. If you've ever played this, you'll agree when I say that this game has some incredible moments, if you havn't played this, then acquire a copy and play it, then come back, it really is worth it. One of the best concepts here is the 'Persistant Fleet', any ships that survive a mission, are carried into the next one and so forth, none of this "Build my base and research tech which I've done before in every single mission" nonsense. One of my favorite stories ever told, just some people trying to get home (With a load of twists and turns on the way).

"Kharack...is burning"


4. Deus Ex
First Person Action Role-Playing Game
Released September 27, 2000
Developed by Ion Storm Inc.
Published by Eidos Interactive



Deus Ex... Yeah.

3. Grim Fandango
Graphic Adventure Game
Released October 20, 1998 (**11 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by by LucasArts
Published by LucasArts



The most unique setting I have ever come across, a mix of Aztec architecture and Film Noir in the land of the dead, this is truly incredible. Okay, so you play as Manny, a travel agent who guides souls to eternal rest, but only the rich can get a fast ticket to heaven, everyone else has to take a four year journey of the soul to get there. This game is often mistaken for a point n' click, but you control Manny with the keyboard, this makes it a unique adventure game as you literally do need to manually walk around, but no complaints there! I'm so in love with this world, especially Rubacava. If you want a fast insight into Tim Shafers genius writing, then look no further, this is one of the best stories ever told, in one of the best worlds ever created. Amazing. That's all I can say.

"As a rule, I never touch anything more sophisticated and delicate than myself."

2. System Shock 2
First Person Survival Horror Role-Playing Game
Released August 11, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed by Irrational Games/ Looking Glass Studios
Published by Electronic Arts



Have you played Dead Space? if so, then do what I did and have a look at this baby, it blows every other Survival Horror I've played out of the water, that's not nostalgia speaking, I only completed this a month ago and I'm still thinking about it. A tense atmosphere of being stuck on a Spaceship alone with only one friend (Well... I'll get to that). To quote The Many (The bad guy/thing(s)) "Your weapons fail, your ammo runs low, all you have is your hatred and your... Individuality". The weapons you find need constant maintenance or they Jam, ammo is used up all too quickly, every crew-member you come across has been killed or has committed suicide and your only friend against The Many is SHODAN... their creator. I'm going to say that SHODAN is the greater evil, and you have to help her, so she can help you, it's the buddy-movie from hell: He’s an amnesiac cybernetic soldier who doesn’t know what to do! She’s a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence dominatrix who’s lost all her power! They Fight The Many!. But having a villain as a friend who is constantly calling you an insect, makes you feel small, small aboard a huge ship, with all kind of nasties right around every corner wanting you dead., this creates one hell of an experience. This game is truly amazing. (I went from BioShock to this... and this blows BioShock out of the water, no pun intended). A Must play, This is probably the best experience I have ever had in First Person.

"With only a few short years of evolution, they've (The Many) been able to conquer this starship, mankind's mightiest creation. Where were we after forty years of evolution? What swamp were we swimming around in, single-celled and mindless? What if SHODAN's creations are superior to us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's far too good at it."

1. The Longest Journey
Adventure Game
Released November 19, 1999 (**10 YEARS OF GREATNESS**)
Developed byy Funcom
Published by Funcom



Okay, I'm most likely bias about number one, it will always hold a special place in my heart as the first adventure game I completed, I replay it every year. This is the best adventure I have ever been on, an epic adventure between two worlds, a story to save the 'Balance' between magic and science. While it seems like your standard Point n' Click affair, the story is just beyond words, the main character, April, is just so complete. This game made me get up an hour earlier than my alarm, just so I could get some play time before college. No other game has managed that. The story, the characters, the art, the dialogue, the puzzles (sans one) the worlds; everything about it just blends together to create the best experience I have ever had the pleasure of... experiencing. You owe it to yourself to give it a shot. The Longest Journey.

“Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where.”

And that, my friends, is the top 10 most amazing games the PC has to offer. I could have extended the list to 20, but I painfully narrowed it down to 10. All these games get a 9-10/10 score in my books.

Other Trivia:
*Crysis was No.14 on my list.
*Half-Life was not exclusive to PC.
*1999 was a Year of PC games Made of Win.
*All these games can be played on low end machines and Laptops.
*SHODAN is the best villain ever conceived.
*Minesweeper is no longer exclusive.
*I jizzed in my pants after making this list.   read


11:10 AM on 09.24.2009  

Your Squad Is Your Weapon: The Valkyria Chonicles of Squad 7 (Plus Recap)

Sorry for the massive break, I wanted to have a look at one last squad, but I lacked the game and console. So I bought a PS3 to play Valkyria Chronicles. Yes, you heard that right. As this is the last YSIYW (Unless there's demand for more). I'll go into even more detail than before. What's the Plural of Valkria anyway, Valkrians or Valkyrur? Anyway, here we go.

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Gallian Militia Squad 7 from Valkyria Chronicles



About Squad 7:
When Imperial forces launch an attack on the Gallia, the gallian Militia was called together and formed several squads. Squad 7 was formed for Welkin to command. Initially members of the squad questioned Welkin's qualifications to be a commander due lack of combat experience. However, he quickly earns their trust and loyalty with his tactical genius. Together they fight in order to drive the Imperial forces out of Gallia and fight for the freedom of all of Gallia and all that they hold dear against the seemingly invincible forces of the Empire.

There are quite a few members that can be chosen (Over 50 in fact), but only around 10 go on any given mission. The most amazing thing is, the incredibly large cast of potential characters, and all of them are unique, they have potential abilities of their own. For example, if they are with someone they like or alone, their abilities are enhanced, some people like standing in the forest, others have a pure hatred for tanks, some even have kamikaze bonuses if they are near death. There are no generic grunts here is squad 7!

The Main Members are:

* Lieutenant Welkin Gunther (Squad 7 Commander/ Tank Commander)
The game's male lead. A twenty-two year old university student before the Imperial invasion, Welkin's intelligence and determination earned him the commanding position over Gallia's Squad 7 after he joins the Militia. His university major, Animal Sociology, gives him an extensive knowledge of Gallia's native flora and fauna and serves as a basis for his military strategies. I often think of Welkin as the Father of Squad 7

* Sergeant Alicia Melchiott (Scout)
Plays opposite Welkin as the game's heroine. A nineteen year old who wishes to be a successful baker, Alicia became a soldier after being swept up in the chaos of the Imperial invasion of Gallia. Righteous and reliable, Alicia loves helping others, and slowly grows fond of Welkin. Alicia is the Mother

* Isara Gunther (Tank Pilot)
Welkin's sixteen-year-old adopted sister who cares greatly for her comrades. The two are not siblings by birth, as she was taken in by the Gunthers at a young age; however, Isara is extremely devoted to Welkin. She drives and maintains the unique tank, Edelweiss, that her biological father, Theimer, designed in the First Europan War but was too expensive to mass-produce. Continuing her father's legacy, Isara is a true prodigy when it comes to mechanics. The shawl she wears signifies that she is a member of the Darcsens, a race of people persecuted for their ancestors' role in the near destruction of the continent. Isara is the daughter

* Brigitte "Rosie" Stark (Shock Trooper)
Twenty-seven years old, Brigitte was formerly a bar singer who used the stage name "Rosie", and now prefers to be called as such. As a part of the core members of Squad 7, she acts as its signature shocktrooper. Though she may seem overbearing at times, she is a capable front-line commander whose tough talk motivates others during battle. Her prejudice against the Darcsens puts her at odds with Isara and Zaka, though she eventually grows to overcome this. Rosie is the Sister

* Largo Potter (Anti-Tank Lancer)
A gruff, thirty-six year old veteran of the First Europan War and Squad 7's main anti-tank Lancer. Values experience above all else on the battlefield, but grows to appreciate Welkin after his strategies prove successful. Beyond his tough exterior, he holds a special appreciation for the power of vegetables from the time spent on his father's farm in his childhood. Largo is the Grandfather

* Zaka (Tank Commander)
Zaka, a local leader of the Darcsens, was held in an Imperial work camp where he and his people were forced to work in the dangerous ragnite mines and factories under brutal conditions imposed by Gregor. The thirty-three year old proves instrumental in helping Squad 7 in the Fouzen raid as an inside contact. Joining the group shortly after the battle, he commands the Shamrock, a customized version of Gallia's main battle tank. His easygoing demeanor hides the oppression he has experienced all his life. I don't know, Zaka's like that weird Uncle you have who tries to be cool



Moment of Awesome:
(Minor Spoilers)These guys have two, first its ramming their way head on into the Empires much, much larger Army, in a hope to push them back (Which they do) and Defeating Selvaria in the heart of the Empire's Base.

Why I think they are Badass:
At first, they just seemed like a rag-tag bunch of misfits called to arms to defend they country, but as the war progresses, they all show their worth, they all have things they want to do after the war, and they will fight for their freedom, for they love their country, but what's more, they share a bond, Squad 7 is a family, they are there for each other, and that is why they win.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
Without any real friendly AI it's hard to say, I mean, they can shoot at a target you are shooting at if you are in range, but beyond that, you control every one of them, apart from the Odd AI scripted moment. This isn't a bad thing though, because controlling them directly is just like them obeying your exact orders.

Thoughts:
Possibly my favorite squad yet, sure they are much larger than some four-man squads, but considering that they aren't super heroes and are up against an army, but even one of them can win a skirmish. They only get stronger. Not only are they fighting for their lives, they are fighting for their country, in fact, they are fighting for the very future of everyone they know. Its more than surviving for this Squad, at times, the weight of the world is on their shoulders. The fact that the majority (Everyone but the main cast) can die permanently in battle (With their own death animation and last words, enough to make you tear up) make them seem real, you have to be careful, or you won't get them back (I lost my favorite sniper and sacrificed my most used shocktrooper to save everyone else). Thankfully the team Medic can be called if you go next to the almost dead troop. This meant, for some cases with me, that I would postpone a major objective just because I wanted to get them home alive. It wasn't even necessary to continue, but the game made me want to, it made me care.



This game is fantastic and well worth the PS3 asking price, Valkyria Chronicles helped remind me why I continue to play games and Squad 7 reminded me that even in the darkest hour, it's your friends and family that will get you through it.

Team Rating: 96%


Now for the Recap:

The Republic Commando's

The Gears of War

Use Brute Force

Those Left 4 Dead

An Elite Force

I see Rainbows



Next time, there will be a poll to decide the ultimate squad. I'll be matching them up Two at a time. Keep an eye on the Community Blogs and Forums!   read







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