Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Dragon Age: Origins Review!

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Hey everyone!

Thought it was high time to do an update again 😉 I’ve been playing dragon age: origins a LOT the last two months which is one of the reasons why I had little updates of late! SO I thought I’d write a review about it!

You can find it here

I still have to finish my n900 review.
It’s not so new anymore right now, but I like to write about my findings with the gadgets and games I buy so I’ll finish that soon enough I hope 🙂

Till next time!


Games of Yore: Halflife 1

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

halflife 1 screeny

Panic in the Black Mesa Compound!

Couple of weeks back, I was at the pub with some of my friends, discussing, as usual, geeky stuff over a cold beer. At some point that night we started talking about halflife 1, and I remembered how I never finished the game! I got stuck in the XEN world back then… Then a friend said: “Bet you could if you played it again today.. ” . This sounded like  somewhat of a challenge to me, so I thought I’d pick it up again soon and give it a try, which is how it made my “What am I playing list” 🙂

I started out as a strict adventure-game player, and Halflife 1 was actually the first shooter I dared to pick up. Before that, I had seen wolfenstein, and found that I was really BAD at shooters. Friends played quake and unreal. I did unreal once, but in god-mode, so I’m not counting that one. I was never able to keep up with quake and unreal in multi player, and quake was too fast for me at that time. With halflife, I was a bit older, and at that time, it looked so great, that I had to give it a try 🙂 Halflife starts of easy and has BIG training wheels 🙂

Halflife: Source

So last monday evening I picked up halflife: source from steam. “Blasphemer!” I hear you say, “Why Source” ! well they still sell the old version, and it’s the same price… But judging by the fact that the game is 11 years old by now, I thought I’d get the one with the engine upgrade.

Now what Valve did is take the old game, and strap it to the new engine! So all the models and textures are still genuine. What DID change was that every little model now has rag doll physics, which is not that big a deal, and water and smoke effects look better. Other then that, it’s really the same thing! And I don’t have to worry about the thing giving problems on a Quad-Core running Windows 7  on a DirectX 10 ATI GPU. First time I ran the original halflife was on a voodoo benshee on a 233Mhz cpu. 😉

The Game

Halflife 1 screeny


Today I finished it! According to steam I finished it in 11.3 hours. (hurray for winter holidays :-))  I was playing on easy, but still I found some parts hard! it seemed to me like the AI was faster than I remember it to be. Anywayz, it was a smooth ride this time around. Loads of ammo left. And I have to say it was enjoyable all over again. It’s a linear game and it’s simple, but the atmosphere is good. I’ll compare it to Halflife 2 to make my point:
Halflife’s story line is simple: There’s an experiment, it goes horribly wrong and strange entities start to appear. At first it’s you against the environment which gives a nice sense of survival. Further along, the game gives you a purpose. So you switch survival in your environment to defending yourself against enemies.

Both subjects are there in halflife 2, but I think they are presented in a too structured way. There are a lot of characters telling you what to do at different points. “That’s the passage to ravenholm, we don’t go through there anymore” … Well I guess I’ll end up there then… YEP! what a surprise…

Where halflife 1 gives you a very narrow situation, with only one entrance and one exit, it does feel like YOU are dealing with the situation. Halflife 2 however, feels more like you get pushed around, into situations where you really don’t want to be.  That’s my perception of it anyway 🙂 It’s like they spell it out a just a bit too much in halflife 2. Halflife 1 fits better in my adventure-game-raised brain. 🙂

The part where I got stuck last time was a bit of a tricky one. But as my friend said, I did get it this time around! Took me about 5 minutes I guess and it was a nice little puzzle 🙂 Feels good to get back there and solve it this time around.


Halflife 1 screeny


Halflife 1 is a good game, and really enjoyable I think. even today. The controls are a bit wonky. It’s like you’re on ice or something, which makes it hard to jump onto small surfaces. Quick-safe and quick-load make up for that 🙂 Don’t be ashamed to use them either. The game’s auto safe points are far apart.

I’m glad I finally finished it the whole way through, without cheating or god mode or whatever! 😀 Well if you’re bored, and are looking for some good’oll pass time, or you haven’t played it yet: Pick it up on steam. It’s cheap, and good fun 😉

Not really a review, but here ya go: 8/10

Update: What am I Playing: The Witcher

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Ok so with Brütal Legend done, I thought I’d update my game list.

I’m playing “The Witcher” again, which I recommend to any adult who likes Action/RPG type games, Hard to make choices and extensive story line. It’s not the most dynamic RPG game out there. Hardly an open world game, and you don’t get to pick yer class… You’re just… a witcher. You do balance your own skill set and abilities, but the most important aspect this game focusses on is moral choices. Who you are is defined more by your choices than by your skill set. This feels really deep and well told the first time you play it through.

I’ve played it till well in chapter VI before I accidentally deleted my save games in a reinstall, so I started again. I thought I’d play it again from the start. I’m now back in chapter VI and I have to say: Although interesting, the game is less deep than I initially thought. The game has a really good way of making you feel your choices really matter, and this is why you SHOULD play it… but playing it a second time through reveals that the story will continue in a certain way regardless of what you pick. Although some things WILL be different, and you’ll have to figure out another way to solve your situation, the effects are still, as expected, rather superficial.

What’s nice is, that on my second run, I did get to see stuff that was new to me, which was nice… and the story is great, so playing it out a second time, slightly different, was entertaining none the less. Overall the game is WELL done, and you should pick it up. Here’s my updated game list.

Currently focused on:

  • PC: The Witcher (Second Run)

Half finished and in the fridge:

  • PC: Ben There, Dan That
  • PC: Heroes of Might and Magic V
  • PC: Sam and max: Season 2
  • PC: Vampyre story
  • Wii: Zelda – Twilight Princes
  • Wii: Zelda – Wind Waker

Want to play in the near future:

  • PC: Deus Ex 1 (Fourth time)
  • PC: Halflife 1 (Actually finish this time)

Recently Finished:

  • PS3: Brütal Legend (8/10, click the link for full review)
  • PS3: Uncharted: Among Thieves (9/10)
  • PS3: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (7/10, gameplay really is shallow)
  • PC: Braid ( 8/10: work of art)
  • PC: World of Goo ( 8/10: work of art)

I’ve added some games to the “fridge” section, as I’m really busy with my 3D engine project now, called Piko3D and really only need to focus on one game for now. I’ve also added some scores to games I finished to give you an idea of what I thought 🙂 That’s it! Regards, Wracky.

Brütal Legend Review!

Saturday, November 21st, 2009
Dubbel Fiiiiiiiiine!!!

Double Fiiiiiiiiine!!!

Title: Brütal Legend.
Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Available on: PS3 and XBox360

I’ve been waiting for this game to come out since the moment it was announced. I’ve  played Grim Fandango and Phsychonauts before this, and I really enjoyed those Games. (For those of you who don’t know, these are both games by Tim Schafer, and they’re AWESOME! I didn’t have a console at that time, so I thought I’d have to wait and see if it would come to the PC at some point.  BUT! Now I have a PS3!  So that’s all good!


The game is about a roadie named Eddie Rigs, who gets warped into a supposedly distant past, into the Age of Metal. The humans who live in this world are being oppressed and live in a dark an hostile world full of demons and creatures straight from the cover of a metal album. Eddy finds out that metal music has enormous powers in this world, and he knows what the people need to tap into the power of metal, and free themselves. He becomes their roadie!

The Metal World

Eddie Blasting away on Clementine

Eddie Blasting away on Clementine

Like Tim Schafer said in many of his interviews, double fine tried to make the world in such a way that every shot and angle taken by the camera could come right off the cover of an heavy metal album. And I have to say they succeeded. The game captures a really good metal atmosphere, and it looks like they tried to think of anything EPIC and AWESOME in the metal sense and put it in the game world! There’s huge dragon heads, mountains, gigantic swords, cogs, guitars, fire breathing monsters and hogs with motorcycle wheels. And the good news is, that you can ride almost any metallic beast you find in this world. And some of them, are F**KING awesome 😀

It really pays off to take the time and just drive around in your overpowered car, and explore the country side. As with a lot of games these days, I have one tip for people playing this game: LOOK UP from time to time. When in any given area, just stand still for a while and look around. There’s some really nice and epic scenery here!

It’s great how they made different elements from heavy metal, live concerts, and everything around it, part of the world. The idea of a metal world is ridiculous from a rational point of view, but the way the world is setup, and how everything works, makes total sense some how 🙂


I think the characters in this game are what you can expect from Tim Schafer. (For those of you who haven’t played Phsychonauts and/or Grim Fandango GO GET IT NOW!!!) Every notable character in the game world has something to say, a personality, and a background. A lot of characters are voiced by or sometimes even modelled like some of the great metal singers of the heavy metal industry, likeOzzy Osbourne, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. Eddy is voiced by Jack Black, which I think he did very well. It’s not some tagged on celebrity voice acting. It’s really well done and the voice acting in general for this game is superb.

The character animations reminded me strongly of Physchonauts actually 🙂 It’s not mocap, but it suits the art style and atmosphere well, and the facial animations and expressions are right up there with the best of m. (It surprises me how bad some expressions are in games these days! (I’m looking at you Bethesda!))

I will not go into detail about what character you meet where, and what they are like, since I think you’ll better find that out for yourself as you get taken in by the games great story line.

Game play

You'll be doing a lot of this ;-)

You'll be doing a lot of this 😉

In the game you have 3 “weapons”. You can use a guitar (which has some powers in this world) as a ranged weapon, and an Axe for melee damage. You can use the two to make combos as well, and you switch between them instantly (each has a separate button). Then there’s “The Deuce” or druid plough  which is your car, and can be upgraded with multiple levels of Nitro, engine, weapons, and armour, from machine guns to guided missiles. (The guided missiles don’t work as well as I hoped, but are great fun in the “Riding the Death Rack” mini game :-))

The main story missions play out as RTS-like battles, where you use 4 simple commands to move your army around, and are right in on the action. You fight along side your troups and can team up with them for special attacks that can be VERY powerful if used in the right situations. You can use guitar solos in and outside of battle, to summon creatures, buff your troops, or cast massive area of effect attacks (The Face-melter solo is an important, as well as entertaining, combat move to use in the right situation :-))

If you only follow the main story line and don’t go out to explore, the game can be rather short aside from the fact that you miss out on a lot of great level designs, unlock-able upgrades for your car, axe, guitar and great metal music. As you play along, and see more of the world, you can also unlock concept art to view from the game menu as a bonus.

RTS-like stage battles

RTS-like stage battles

The game also features a multi-player mode where you can play online against friends or other players. You can pick your favourite army out of 3, and play on one of the specially made multiplayer maps with different themes in terms of landscapes.

I really enjoyed the game. Most of the time I spend driving around exploring the country, trying to find special items/locations to look at and just take in the atmosphere of this big Metal World to the tune of a LOT of great metal music . People say the side missions are not deep enough, but in my perspective, there are no side missions. The little things you get to do in the game world do not have any real story to it..They are more like in-world minigames, and can be quite fun too. I used to just pick up the controler and play the game for like 1 hour or 2  every evening… In which blasting through this metal world, meeting some funny characters, and the occasional slaughtering of demons, made for a very relaxing,  metal experience with just great atmosphere. And whenever I felt like it, I continued on the main story line, which, albeit short, is really well told like you  would expect from any Schafer game.

just started on the multi player portion of the game. I’m now only practising still.. getting to know the armies, getting to know the maps and such. I don’t know yet if I will be playing multi player a lot, since the RTS element, albeit fun, does feel a bit heavy and slow. Simple character controls are a good thing, especially with a controller, but sometimes it’s also still a bit hard for me to get everyone where I want them to be. Practice makes perfect I guess 😉


In short it’s a game that got me with it’s atmosphere, great story, and easy to pick up controls.  If you don’t like exploring, this will be a short game, and you might miss the great architecture and level design. If you like driving around and epic landscape in a flaming car on metal music, then do pick this game up 🙂 There are some ‘Epic’ moments to be had 🙂

Score: 8/10

What games am I playing?

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

There are way to much games that I want to play in the limited amount of time I have for everything 🙂 Not only are there a lot of games that get my attention, I also want to make sure my lill code projects get done in a reasonable amount of time! I used to curse at games that were too short. Now I actually secretly want them to be short, so I can continue on to the next! So many great games…  much to do…. so little time….

So here’s a list of what my game interests are at this point. I’m only REALLY playing one at this time. Have been spending a lot of time coding, but I’m always thinking about the other great games that I still need to finish. Here’s the list:

Currently focused on:

  • PS3: Brütal Legend

Currently also Playing:

  • PC: The Witcher (Second run)
  • PC: Ben There, Dan That
  • PC: Heroes of Might and Magic V

Half finished and in the fridge:

  • PC: Sam and max: Season 2
  • PC: Vampyre story
  • Wii: Zelda – Twilight Princes
  • Wii: Zelda – Wind Waker

Want to play in the near future:

  • PC: Deus Ex 1 (Fourth time)
  • PC: Halflife 1 (Actually finish this time)

Recently Finished:

  • PS3: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • PS3: Uncharted: Among Thieves
  • PC: Braid
  • PC: World of Goo
  • PC: Plants vs Zombies

You might notice that there are no MMO’s on here. I have played World of Warcraft and Age of Conan for a while. I’ve played World of Warcraft for 2 years casually.. and again for 1 month a year later. Although it’s a great game, and I salute people at blizzard for their art direction and art style, it suddenly hit me that I was getting tired of the same thing over and over…

Age of Conan ended up more or less the same… both games are not well suited for the casual player… there are a lot of mechanisms in place to help you if you only play every once in a while, but it’s still hard to get a good group and get into the really GOOD stuff.

Then one day, I looked at all the single player games I still hadn’t finished, and thought: “Wow, these games do not cost me money when I have no time to play them :D” … so I quit MMO’s all together for now.  At first, I felt liberated.. I no longer HAD to “play because my game time that I had paid for was ticking away”…. now, I just look at the enormous pile of good single players out there, and think: “How the hell will I ever  play them all in this lifetime!” 😛  …. at least they don’t nag at my credit card when I try to ignore them ;P

Talk to ya later!