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LONG BLOG

F2P Steam Games Review

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Steam has finally introduced free-to-play games to steam. There were some free mods before, but these are actual games made by other companies. They all strive off of a Pay-For-More model, where you just pay for extra stuff. Sometimes that can be a bad thing (I'm looking at you, Combat Arms) and sometimes it can be a godsend (Cabal). So what's with these games?


Alliance of Valiant Arms (AVA)

This is the one game in the list I've played a lot before steam released it. Alliance of Valiant arms is a pretty generic shooter with its benefits. There are 3 classes; Rifle, Point Man, and Sniper. Rifle handles rifles, moves at normal speed. Point man uses SMGs and moves a bit quicker because of it. And Sniper deals heavy damage but moves slower than the rest. You play matches and get money to buy weapons that exist off of paying for the duration. You can buy the gun for a day, a week, a month, and so on.

I've never noticed an outrageous difference between the weapons you buy with online currency and the ones you buy with real-life currency. So that be said, I think their cash shop isn't too crazy like CA's is.

The gameplay feels like counter-strike in most maps in normal deathmatch, because there will be endless turns and corners and the reactions have to be quick or you'll already be dead. I like the style of it because it takes a game like counter strike and makes it feel a bit more modern in terms of art style and the likes.

What really pulls me into AVA the most is the Escort game mode. In it, one team plays defense, and the other offense. The offense will be trying to escort their tank to the other side of the map, while the defense has to open these metal containers that hold RPGs and destroy the tank with them. 2 RPGs will destroy the tank. Then, the offense has to repair the tank while holding off the defense. And it continues as such until the tank either reaches the other base, or time runs out.

AVA is one of those pick-up-and-play games. And I've kind of missed out on these. Sure I like some Battlefield every now and then, but when I don't feel like putting all of my effort into domination, I like to play some AVA. It works, it's quick, and it hits that spot in my head that craves FPS.



Champions Online

After AVA, I spent some time with Champions Online, whose name should sound more like Superheroes because that's what you are, but fine. I turn it on only to find that about half of the champions were pay-to-play and I was stuck with the more generic guys. Sure, being a pyromancer would be neat, but so would being an Inventor. It seemed like they just handed me the generic superheroes and said I had to pay if I wanted to be a unique super hero.

So I started as a pyromancer, and I was customizing myself, realizing most of the accessories or looks just wouldn't fit anyone and the customization wasn't nearly as deep as most other superhero games (DC universe, City of Heroes). I didn't like most of the options they gave me like fins on my face or bug ears, or a very ugly robotic mask. So I just went along in my default outfit.

But as I got in game, people were amazing looking. Some people had crazy auras, some people were flying, it was awesome. Then I figured out how to get the stuff.

You have to buy it.

So I went along in my default outfit. But still, this game doesn't feel like a superhero game. It feels like WoW with comic-book text, even cartoonier graphics, and a general sense of disinterest. There isn't as much customization as I'd like, the attacks all feel bland (Here comes a miniature fireball!), and the game can kind of leave you out on things. It wouldn't say that the quest objectives were in the green circled outline. I, and others, were having trouble finding the pods we had to destroy just because the game was sort of like, “Hey, go find these pods and destroy them”.

I honestly didn't spend nearly as much time with this game as I wanted to, but I just couldn't do it. After a numerous sessions, my entire body was against playing another WoW that was even cartoonier and failed at what it did.




Spiral Knights

This is undoubtedly my favorite game so far in terms of the F2P games. Spiral Knights is sort of like....

Zelda – Puzzles + Co-op + Kingdom Heart's Synthesis shop

At least, that's what comes to my mind anyways. The goal of the game is to gather minerals by teaming up with multiple people and going through dungeons in search of large crystals. Before you go, you can either form a party, or randomly join one which works wonders with people who hate starting new MMOs because you're pretty much all alone.

When you get the crystals, you can either sell all of them for maximum profit or sell them in a way that unlocks different parts of dungeons. Even with all of my time of gameplay (Roughly 6 hours), I still don't understand the crystals very much. When you start off, you get 100 energy. Through dungeons, to go down a floor it costs 10 energy. Reviving yourself and teammates costs energy too. The main flaw of the game is here; Energy takes forever to refill. Why? Because you have to pay real-life currency to get things that recharge your energy. So if you don't pay, you get 1 energy back every few minutes. So when you've hit about 0, you're kind of SOL for the time being.

The synthesis shop works with gathering loot and other goodies and mixing them together, along with energy, to get your desired weapon. You have to purchase the recipes first though.

But seriously, this game is fantastic. What really bugged me about Zelda was its puzzles because they were either too hard or too easy, and in this case, they just remove the puzzles altogether. It removes the strategy involved, but makes it more involved around combat.

This game is also one of the few to really get me on the edge of my seat. 3 people and I went into an arena where we fought waves of enemies. After the waves finished, we had a choice of going further into the dungeon, returning to the surface, or going further into the arena. We went all the way, and it was intense.

I'm the last person to ever, ever spend money on a F2P game. But I did. I love this game that much.


Forsaken World

Forsaken world feels a LOT like WoW. And I guess you could probably see that coming, as that's what many developers feel to be the only way to compete in the MMO market. The only thing I really see different is the art style not feeling so cartoony. The game works, pretty much, exactly like WoW. You get quests that are brought up on little pieces of parchment, you go collect the loot for the quest, then you return. Then when you have no quests, you just grind until you do.

This isn't saying Forsaken World is a bad game, it's just been done before. Several times.

So how do I review a game by calling it something else? Chances are you've either seen or played WoW, so I don't really know where to go on from here. Except to describe WoW.

The combat is done by double-clicking on a monster, and letting it work its magic until the enemy is dead. If you want to deal a bit more damage in a quicker amount of time, you push a number key assigned to a ability. The ability does more damage than a regular attack (if the ability is combat-related).

I mentioned Champions Online being bad, while this is WoW and it isn't bad. Why? Champions online took WoW, tried to make it superheroish, and failed. The graphics were almost gag-worthy, it was like playing cheesy low-budget title. Forsaken World is WoW minus the cartoonish graphics while still being what WoW kind of is. Also, Champions Online takes away from the superhero-ish experience by making several superhero abilities have to be paid for. Forsaken World has a cash shop, but their primarily boosts, and therefore, do not take away from what the game is.

It's really, really WoW without the fee and cartoonish graphics.

Global Agenda

I played this game a little bit when the free agent was released. I'm not going to review it though, so I apologize. I figure this area of the blog should be why I didn't play much of Global Agenda.

Honestly, I had no idea what to do. Nothing pointed me anywhere, and I was dropped into the middle of some technological fortress. I wanted to go blow stuff up. I was all alone. I didn't know how where when to what to get to. So I just kind of turned it off.

In conclusion...

A.V.A. Is a good pick-up-and-play game but its appeal doesn't last too long. After a short bit, it just feels like another shooting game. The Escort mode is the only thing different about this shooting game.

Champions online is a mediocre super-hero game that doesn't focus on much of what made games like City of Heroes good. The customization isn't as deep as it should be, most of the interesting abilities have to be bought, and the overall choices on powers are just cliché. You can control fire, you can control ice, you can be buff, you can be good with weapons, it just all feels done before.

Spiral Knights is a fantastic co-op game that I would easily recommend to anyone. However, I can't help but feel like after a while, I'll leave it for it being too repetitive.

Forsaken World is WoW 2.0

Global Agenda is too confusing for me.
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About MathewRDone of us since 10:20 PM on 09.19.2010

I'm just here to play some games.