Dylan’s Blog

Dylan writes about stuff

Dawn of war 2 and more blogs, oh my!

Yes, that’s right folks, another blog is added to the group! And this blog is noted fan and part-time employee in Dylan’s blog; Floyd Tarrant! He tends to complain that I do not update enough and well he’s about to find out why (although I believe I will be eating those words seeing as how he goes on the internet much more than me). To award this momentous occasion, I am releasing a review of Dawn of War 2 for you all to enjoy. Happy 0th birthday Floyd’s Blog!

Dawn of War is an RTS system that was designed for Warhammer 40 000. A lot of mixed reviews were of the game, seeing as the only real thing the game had in common with 40k was the armies and units. It leant more to the RTS aspect, abandoning the whole turn-based points-set combat that 40k lovers had grown to enjoy. This was good news for people who liked RTS games, but it put some of the 40k players in a bit of an awkward position. The original DOW games were pretty good, but it was also fairly standard. The only special thing about it was the units, arguably the enviroments, the huge battlefields and, of course, the ability to ‘re-enforce’ units. DOW2, however, almost went in the opposite direction. The maps in DOW2 are tiny in comparison to the other DOW game sized maps. It has a lot of that 500 points 40k feel to it. Most of the other elements are there, including requisition points being the standard ‘currency’ for units with a secondary resource being power.

To start off with the bad, is some of the interface. When you create units, it neatly organises it on the right side of the screen all numbered. You may press the number on the keypad to quickly access these units which is very useful. However, if one of your units are unfortunate enough to die, then any new units will continue being added as if that unit had never died; i.e. you have units 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, but it is still ordered from top to bottom. This can start getting very confusing very fast, making it difficult to use the numbers to select units later on into the game. In addition, there is a button you can press that instantly makes your squad run away. This makes them run towards the nearest point where they can recover and re-inforce, which gives them the bonous where they ignore suppression (heavy weapons cause suppresion, making units in an area move at a snails pace). However, you cannot tell them to stop running away until they have gotten to your base or wherever they need to go to heal. For example, I had my army roaming around for points. I then saw a terrifyingly huge army right in front of me which immediately procceeded to whip the sh*t out of me with suppresion weapons. I immediately told everyone to run away. However, on the way back, I noticed single squads taking over all my victory points and requisition points. I shouted at the screen (in my head) for them to stop running and shoot the squads, but unfortunately they hadn’t learned how to stop running away in training, so they just frowned at me while I mashed the fall back button, hoping it would de-activate but they just continued to run away. Lastly, girls must be godlike at this game because it requires a lot of freaking multitasking! If you want to be good at the game, you need to capture requisition, power, and victory points while defending them and attacking others as well as managing resources, constructing units, upgrading units and managing a full-scale battle and use commander special abilities and use unit special abilities and communicate with your teammate and upgrade your fortress and if you do all that then congratulations you have a 50-50 chance of winning now!

 Now onto the good stuff, combat is really tactical! Every unit is unique in their own small, special way, including surpression units(see above) and jump units and units that can be invisible and units that can heal other units; a load of cool stuff. Not to mention the cover system; this game is following traditional RTS mechanics where winning involves Ctr-A Kill. An army that utilitises cover to their advantage will absolutely rape anything it sees; even the worst amount of cover reduces all damage by 25%. But of course, if you don’t like your opponents doing that, you can build a dreadnought and simply have them walk all over their cover and rip apart their suppression guns so your melee units can get their teeth stuck in as well. But to avoid that happening, intercept it with a wraithlord or some tankbustas; and it all escalates from there. Some battles get really epic; simply type “Epic battle DOW2″ into youtube and you’ll see some amazing results. While the good things are outnumbered by the bad things, they easily make up for it.

Overall, DOW 2 is a fantastic game, and I’ve only just scratched the surface; there is still the last stand, the campaign, and of course, online play, which will forever torment me with some of the people on there. Just make sure your computer can handle the strain, because the graphics are pretty intense at times.


Review: Abe’s Exoddus

Now I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure you have all played Abe’s Oddysee. Maybe you haven’t played Abe’s Exoddus or not, but I’m writing a review for it anyways.

 This is a game set in the Oddworld series which is an alien planet filled with many ‘odd’ races that all have conflicting or promoting cultures. There has so for been 3 games in the series, and another game that was set in the same world called Strangers Wrath. Abes Exoddus is the 2nd game, picking up a little while after where Abe’s Oddysee left off (it’s not clear how long). It is a side-scroller puzzle with a few elements of stealth, where you sneak and are invisible in shadow, but it is mostly solving puzzles. You play as a blue-skinned Mudokan named Abe, who saves his buddies from Glukkans, corporate superpowers who enslave Mudakans and hire Sligs, who are the Glukkans security gaurds. Sligs command Slogs, which are similar to dogs except without eyes (in the least gory context possible) and furless, as well as Fleeches, who are good pets until they grow too old and start eating things about 10 times their size in a few bites. Abe armed only with his wits and the powers granted to him by ancient Mudakan rituals, allowing him to possess anything with sufficient intelligence, turn into a Scrab, one of the animals of Oddworld, and unlease lightning into anything that dares cross his path (You need to get a pickup to use that one), and a few others that are aquired throughout the game.

Let me start with some negative things.

There are frequent glitches in the scenery that are somewhat distracting if you are immersed; grabbing onto a ledge about 1 foot too deep, or walking off what suspected was a ledge that would let you drop to instead grab onto an upper ledge. Also, I’m not sure if I’m the only one who thinks this, but one of the enemies, Fleeches, are extremely annoying and I wish they had left them out of the game. It’s not always clear whether you are in a ’shadow’ zone or not, and there are points in the game that if you don’t save at a good point (not often, but a good point) then you may be forced to re-start the entire path (usually about 4-16 rooms in a path, where you go through a room anywhere up to 4 times). Another thing is, in the computer re-make of it, there is a glitch where they changed the ‘pick up rock’ button to the down arrow, which also let’s you drop from a ledge, so if you need to pick up a grenade that is on a ledge, you cannot pick it up. While you can still complete the game like this, admittadly with a bit more skill, you cannot save all 300 Mudakans. It is impossible, and it is implyed that there is a secret ending if you save them all (I’ll look it up later). Speaking of which, some of the secret areas are ridiculous to get to without a guide; for example, I started the game and wanted to get used to the controls, so I pressed the ‘down’ key and dropped from a ledge that was impossible to see because it was behind a conveniently placed pipe and into a secret are that had like 3 Mudakans. I had saved 255 Mudakans at the end, and couldn’t save about 6. Finally, whoever programmed the A.I. for the Mudakans and Sligs, I want to punch in the face. There is another type of Mudokan that is blind, and he follows your voice so you have to tell it to start and stop. It got so bad that I preffered to have them. When you say ‘follow me’, it can take an indeterminant for them to start walking, usually about 1-3 seconds, which is crippling when you are commanding crowds; you’ll always be saying ‘follow me’ ‘wait’ ‘follow me’ ‘work’ ‘hello’ ‘follow me’ just to get everyone on a damn elevator. The Sligs are fine until you start commanding or controlling them, at which point occasionally if you want to nudge them a little they instead go way too far and into a bottomless pit.

 For the good things, is that I love the world that it is set in. The concept artists really went to town on this game and brought a lot of really cool scenery. Each set of levels has it’s own unique background and objects and places, and you’ll never get any dejavu. All the screens are hand-drawn from what I can tell, which is really impressive because each one is incredibly detailed. You can really just lose yourself in the backgrounds as they tell a story about where you’re going, and blend seamlessly into each other. The puzzles have a different, less traditional approach and relie more on skill and experience with the game rather than a hugh brain. It has a humourus overtone about it and yet blends this very dark world into it, and at times is purposely over-the-top. The storyline is also just very satisfying to complete; I don’t know what about it in paricular, it’s just fulfilling. Finally, whoever made the final paths for all the sets of levels, I want to high-five. It is like one of those quick-time event games, except it feels like you are actually doing it for real; roll, run, jump, hoist, slide and pull. They also have a very good sense for time limits; either that or they adjust it, because in the end for the 4 minute sprint I jumped through the portal that ended the game with 1 second left on the timer. The timers aren’t scripted, in that most games you have 2 minutes, complete it in 30 seconds and all of a sudden the bomb timer just sort of jumps to 0 for an unknown reason and you manage to jump out of the building just as it explodes; nono, I was running down a corridor with 4 seconds left and there were explosions behind me; not incredibly close, but I was worried enough. It was epic enough to congratulate.

 In the end, Abe’s Exoddus is a great game that I thoroughly enjoyed, although at points a little frustrating and may not be a perfect game, like TF2 when I have THE GODDANG FORCE-A-NATURE!


*ehem* Off track. But I’m really glad I finally got that.

Hungry Jack’s Love for Birds Showing

So yesterday I had just bought an Ork Trukk and decided to settle down. I was hungry, and had some time kill for the bus. Armed with 5 dollars I bought some food at the local Hungry Jack’s and walked upstairs to eat it.

I ate my meal quite happily, when I turn around and see a pigeon staring at me.

Just staring at me!

If you haven’t been to this Hungry Jack’s, it has no balcony, open windows and such that a bird could fly through. It literally must have flew through the front door and up the stairs.

Nobody took notice of it but me. We both had a staring contest until the pigeon got bored and strutted away. I was pretty confused, and I’m sure the bird was too. It perched on the railing above the staircase and looked down.

Now, there is this huge mirror on the opposite wall of the staircase. The bird took off, and flew towards the window until it was about 3 centimeters away where it realised it was about to fly into a wall and flew back. Still, nobody noticed.

After I had finished my meal, it flew downstairs and out the door.

Now I’m no health inspector, but isn’t that… bad? It’s a good thing it didn’t have bird flu or anything…

…or did it? IT’S A CONSPIRACY!

Ragnorok(land) is now open!

Actually dicovered from exploring the new OIFY, I have decided to give this game a go. Here is how it works; each time someone clicks on the link below, the population of Ragnorok(land) goes up! Someone stole the name so I had to add land to the end of it. It only works once a day, so make sure to come by daily so that I can grow a magnificent city!


April fool anticks

Alright guys, stop it. I don’t remember a time where I was the one who pulled the big elaborate schemes to thwart people’s perception of reality. No, it’s always played on me. You may remember last year’s April fools *glares at father* but this has gone to far. What’s worse than saying that my computer is converting to hello kitty operating system? Well, when I logged on, this happened. (continued »)

Quicke; Review on my spell checker

I have been meaning to do this for some time, but I have been getting really annoyed with my spell checker. Every time I end a word with ve it thinks it’s another bloody word, like have would have the ve underlined in red. It also gets tons of words wrong, as in it says that it isn’t correct when it obviously is, like suggest.

That is my quick quicke. Just felt I needed to get that off my chest.

BUT! I will give you this inspirational quote that you should remember.

“Cats are known to see within the dark. Yet, if you had sight like a cat, even for one day, would you really want to see what’s in the dark?”

LED’s… waitno

There is a small trend that you may have and I certainly have noticed over my past reviews and that’s that I only review good games. This is probably because when I buy a game I do it because I’ve done my research and thought it was a good game, and in the end I was right. Eledees is a game that didn’t follow this case.

I’m rather confused about Eledees actually, my friend loved it and we played it every time he came over and we had great fun. However, when I’m sitting on the couch by myself I can’t get myself motivated. So I figured that this review would really help me understand why.

To start with the bad, it isn’t particularly inventive. It’s a cross between a simulator designed to trash your house and hide in seek where every now and again some little black spiky thing runs at you and stabs you in the eyes. In all fairness it does have somethings that you would never be able to accomplish in real life like zero-gravity but it feels rather fake considering zero-gravity doesn’t affect you, or the ability to pick up buildings. But where you can pick up buildings, your main character was born with this mysterious physical defeciency where he is unable to lift anything heavier than a flashlight and his own thick skull so he uses a ‘capture gun’ which can also coincidentally pick up objects. You can power it up to lift heavier objects but at the lowest level this can result in being unable to open drawers or lift toasters. You use this capture gun to capture Eledees which powers up the house, which can be used to power toys which can upgrade the gun through power Eledees or even operate doors. It is in a seperate dimension, but last I checked doors were mechanical and didn’t need 2400 watts of electricity to operate. There is also some person who goes around the house not only cleaning up after you but setting up certain items to make the levels. Now this might somehow make sense in the house but once they start replacing hot air balloons, giant lego pieces, rocket ships and re-establishing buildings in a matter of minutes as you navigate through the menu I started raising an eyebrow. Also, there are some stupid objectives you sometimes have to maintain or else you fail, like you can’t make x amount of noise at once, you can’t break x amount of items, etc. which seem fairly pointless considering nobody is even around and once you break all their china they suddenly realise that you are wrecking the house and come storming back in to tell you to stop.

The storyline is that you are a small boy who doesn’t have enough attention paid to from his parents, because they are scientists. This is in an alternate world where electricity is powered by pint-sized creatures, but one night the power went off, and his parents buggered off to figure out why. The boy decided that he wanted power back and to find his parents so weilding the capture gun he trecks off. Now I got to the point where I figured out why the eledees rebelled, but it was a while ago so I don’t remember. I remember they were gathering for something but I don’t give a flying hoot about the storyline anyways.

To talk about the good things they have pretty fun levels. There is some cool concepts, like a firing range, abandoned city and a carnival, and more, but they all are pretty fun. There is also some moments where you get maximum power and just throw everything apart to find the last 5 eledees to finish the level with 15 seconds left, and you tear apart the terrain to make a battleground of chaos. Although the multiplayer is unflattering, it is fun to play single-player with friends by taking turns. There are also some cool powerups that allow you to unleash hell on Eledees. The controls are fluent and intuitive and, it has a level editor.

To sum it up, Eledees was mediocre. It seemed surreal, but not the kind of surreal where you go “Woah, crap!” in dead space but the kind of surreal where you go “Huh? Crap…” if you catch my drift. It brings the question whether something is surreal in a realistic way and something that just seems fake. In reality, Half-life seems very fake, but it’s and air of predictability that it has to it. You understand that if you shoot it, it will stop moving, and if you throw something, it will fall. Eledees had floaty physics, the creatures themselves did things that would be impossible in our world, and the levels seem impractical. However, in it’s defense, it was just fun, but didn’t really compell you to play it again.

So… many… CUUUUUBES!

This is a freeware review of a game called Lyle in Cube Sector. It is all about a black kid with green hair surrounded by creatures trying to make ends meet when suddenly, some complete asshole comes along and steals his cat! Lyle must use it admittadly poor abilities to save his cat from some one, or… some thing. Or some place. Or even some object. How many more of these can I do? That many.

Anyways, at the beginning, Lyle can run and jump. That’s just about it. But he must venture into cube sector filled with cubes *gasp* and get powers to use them. It’s a pretty interesting game, where you need to explore the land to find your cat. It is, however, extrememly annoying at times and forgiving at others. For example, if you go out to the ass-end of hell to get a power-up and then die 4 seconds later, yes, you have to start back at your house again. However, to your delight, you will realise that you will still have the power. Sometimes, this doesn’t mean anything when you are trying to get through areas with very, very difficult circumstances. All of the powers you get are inventive (apart from the one allowing you to pick up cubes) and most of them are useful. And the music is top-quality game music. I love it, love it, and at times, am alright with it. It also has a few… well, I’d say they’re mini-games, but they are just different circumstances, like using cubes to knock a basketball into hoops.

Anyways, if you like side-scrollers, then it’s hard not to like this game.

Link: http://www.sitesled.com/members/bogo/lyle.html

Being outnumbered has never been so cute

Well, this is my review on Pikmin. For a quick real-life backstory, I have recently bought the Wii remake of the game, so I will include the controls.

Pikmin is an adorable little game where you play as Captain Olimar, a small, pudgy adventurer who, while flying unsuspectantly through space, is hit by a meteor and starts plummetting towards the surface of a planet.

There on the planet, he finds an object with three legs which he calls an Onion, which does look like an onion with a flower on top and three legs. Out of the onion flies out a seed, which sprouts quickly into a stem with a leaf. After pulling it out, Olimar discovers that it was actually a slender red creature which he calls a Pikmin. He must utilitise the Pikmin to find is 30 lost spaceship parts that are scattered across the realm. On his travels, he finds blue and yellow Pikmin. Red pikmin do the most damage and are immune to fire, yellow pikmin can be thrown further and higher and can carry bomb rocks, and blue pikmin are the weakest fighters but can survive in water. By having pikmin pick up objects and take them back to the onion, you can use it to create more pikmin. Also, pikmin can harvest grass to find nectar, which evolves them into a flower state, which makes them move faster and do more damage. Alternatively to picking pikmin, you can leave them in the ground for a while where they will eventually turn into buds and then flowers.

Starting with the bad things about the game, from worst to least bothering, the pathfinding is utterly unBEARABLE! Well, it isn’t very bearable. When working with 20 pimin +, going through narrow walkways will usually cause pikmin to walk blindly off the edge where they will run into a wall until they realise that doing the same thing they’ve been doing the last 10 seconds won’t do. There are techniques that can reduce the individuals who do this to 90+ danger, but it doesn’t always work perfectly. Secondly, you have 30 days until your life support systems fail, and 30 ship parts that have fallen. That means you must collect at least 1 ship part a day, which isn’t that bad considering you have the option to restart at the end of a level, but if a lot of your pikmin die and you don’t think it’s that big of a deal and save over your old one on day 25, you may have to start all the way at the beginning of the game to fix it.

With the good things (in no particular order), is that the pikmin are adorable. Their curious little faces all look up at you and interact with the enviroment with great enthusiasm. Also, there is a surprising amount of tactics required for most combats. It isn’t a go there kill that sort of feel, it’s more like you’re using the pikmin as a type of DOT (damage over time). Different parts of different monsters will be more or less effective than other tactics, and some enemies have some very unique attacks, such as a mushroom that emits poison which, when it hits pikmin, turns them into wilted flowers and start attacking you. The levels are very pretty to looks at, as you are obviously pint-sized in this, and all the levels are based on the level designer’s backyard. Sort of makes me want to avoid his backyard if it includes walking mushroom-monsters. The pikmin are very nice to look at while they are accomplishing a task, their little stems all moving in synchronisation, like ants to carry away their new victim to the nest. The controls are also pretty intuitive, in the sense that I have no problems with it whatsoever.

All in all; if you have a wii and haven’t already played this game, get it, but otherwise you’re pretty much out of luck. Pikmin came out as one of the first titles for the gamecube so it’s more likely that ol’ Godzilla will be hopping around tokyo city like a big playground when suddenly batman bursts from the shade, and hits godzilla with a bat grenade. Godzilla will get pissed and begin to attack, but wouldn’t expect to be blocked by Shaq, who would proceed to open up a can of Shaq fu, when Erik Carter will come out the blue, and start beating up Shaquelle O’ Neal, and they’ll both get flattened by the batmobile, but before batman could make it back to the batcave, Abraham Linkon will come out of his grave and pull and AK-47 out from under his hat and blow batman away with a rat-a-tat-tat, but he’ll run out of bullets and run away because Optimus Prime has come to save the day than for a shop to be selling Pikmin on the gamecube.

Wideload bundle

This is all the stuff that is going on with wideload bundle. If you are currently typing up a comment asking who they are, they made the classic game Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel without a Pulse.

(continued »)

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