After almost a year of waiting, Battlefield Heroes is finally released. At first glance, it's alright - very cartoon-like. It has nice graphics. Great price for the entry level stuff (free) and it's very easy to install and play. Just install the browser plugin for firefox and it will download the game and load it up for you. The game even finds the best server for you to join based on your team selection and experience.
As I've always said with gaming, there's a spectrum that games fit in, with "Fun/Arcade" on one end and "Realistic" on the other. This game is very arcade, moving more in the direction of "zany" and away from any semblance of reality. It's meant to be slapstick and goofy. It's like some of those weird mods people came up with for Battlefield 1942. While it is produced by EA and probably some of the same developers, it's definitely a different animal than previous games in the Battlefield scenery.
Worth mentioning here is how EA plans to make money on something they're giving away for free. EA hopes to entice players to cough up money for addons, power ups and new abilities, and get advertisers to cough up money for in-game advertising. This will be interesting to watch unfold.
Fantastic Contraption is a great flash-based game. It allows you great flexibility in the design of your contraption. The goal of the game is explained in the tutorial - essentially all you're trying to do is get the pink ball into the pink area. Sounds simple enough, right? Each level gives you a different challenge. Either some pitfall or obstacle is in your way.
Many of you have probably already played, but I'd like to see your contraptions in the comments section of this post.
After reading about the Homebrew Channel for a modified Wii, I was intrigued. In the past I've run linux on a Playstation, soldered modchips into countless Xbox consoles and had quite a blast adding and updating various scripts for the Xbox. I wondered what the Wii could be capable of.
At present there are only a handful of "homebrew" apps you can use on a Wii, but this didn't stop me. The future for Wii homebrew looks bright and it looked so easy I just had to give it a try. I visited the Homebrew Channel homepage which is literally a one-stop shop for modifying a Wii console. All you need is a spare SD card (I used a 2Gb card) and a copy of Zelda: Twilight Princess (I had a free rental credit). In almost no time at all I had the Homebrew Channel (HBC) installed and was quickly accessing homebrew apps.
A video of the Twilight Hack is here and the Homebrew Channel is here.
Currently the most promising app is ScummVM. Many of the supported games I haven't played and those that I have played, I haven't touched in at least 10 years. They were truly groundbreaking titles for the PC gaming industry. Full Throttle, Loom, Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island - the big ones. Now, I can continue to play the point-click interface with the Wii controller. Perhaps an official re-release is in order for some old LucasArts games.
It's hard to categorize exactly what Phun is. A game? There's no rules really. You could argue that it's educational, but it's just so darn fun. It's alot like a 2D virual Lego set: stimulating free-form play.
Created by Emil Ernerfeldt for his Master's thesis, Phun is a physics engine with dynamic shapes that can be arranged, moved and associated however you wish. For more info, check out the Phun webpage.
Grendel sez: Here's my first creation. The chain was a doozy to get working right.
I've been playing Team Fortress 2 alot. It's a great game. I enjoy playing just about every class on the game. I play Engineer most of the time, although at times I've been known to completely devour the opposing team as a Sniper.
As I was playing earlier I realized that most Engineers place their teleports near the upstairs spawn point in the 2Fort map (I play 2Fort almost exclusively). It really drives me crazy when I get in some teleporter and it takes me to my teams flag room and not to the enemy base (where all good teleports should go). I decided I needed to make it easier on my teammates to know where my teleport takes them, so I made a spraypaint.
*sigh* That's it. I finally got it. Almost 10 years of waiting has come to an end. I think they did a smash up job on TF2. And I've only played 2fort so far! It took me a bit to recapture my feel for the map - what with all the pretty textures and all. I was more used to seeing blocky, cut-and-dry gothic tiles everywhere from Quake 1. The graphics are awesome. I truly love the cell animation feel of it. Much more of a "fun" feel to it. I do miss the various grenades that different players have, but I guess removing them is for the best.
For those of you that still have not bought "The Orange Box", it's a great buy. I found that Circuit City has it for $39.99 while everyone else is releasing it at $49.99. If you take a Circuit City ad to Walmart they'll price match. So will Best Buy if you're nearby, plus you'll get an addition 10% off --- that's another whole $1.00! You can print off this page for price verification (possibly photoshop for addition discount, but I wouldn't ever suggest that.) I played it safe and got mine at Walmart for $39.99.
Oh yeah, did I mention Portal is a blast too? I hear there's a couple of other game bundled with it, but who cares? TF2 Baby!
It's been a long time coming and it's almost here. I've been waiting years for Team Fortress 2 to make it's debut. Team Fortress 1 (the Quake mod) was a blast to play. Team Fortress Classic was a mediocre attempt to capture TF1 into a new engine and since then there's been a buzz about TF2 being released one day or another. It's been touted alongside Duke Nukem Forever as "vaporware" - but the release is nigh.
Alot of people don't like the game styling of cell animation, but I think it will make for a great game. So far, most of what we've been given glimpses of are animation shorts - but they're holding me over and whetting my appetite. So here's a few for you to watch too.
I just got done reinstalling and playing Battlefield 1942. I honestly don't know how this game ever fell out of popularity. I didn't play it as much after I got Call of Duty, but BF1942 is still a blast.
I guess I never liked Battlefield 2 as much. Yeah, I'd play it and it was really fun, but it just wasn't the same. It lacked the simplicity that made 1942 so easy to pick up and play. Battlefield Vietnam sucked. I think I played it for a good 2 weeks before I reverted back to 1942. Secret Weapons was a waste. I didn't even bother with it. Road to Rome was alright, but it really wasn't ever that popular so people never played on those servers as much. Good ole original Battlefield 1942 is a real gem.
I think it will be remembered for what it did to expanding gameplay. You could trek on foot forever it seemed. Or you could jump in a tank or jeep or some other vehicle and make you way to where you wanted/needed to be. Or you could jump into a plane - my personal favorite. I think the original 1942 had balance that most games lack. Player classes were balanced. The vehicles were all solid. Anti-aircraft was effective. With true teamwork you could easily take down the enemy (unless they had better cooperation).
I love Battlefield and miss not being able to pick up just any game and cream the other guys. C'est la vie.
Special thanks to Notorious on his belated Christmas gift to me and Jennifer. He hooked us up with another board game to add to our collection: The Settlers of Catan.
It's a very fun and dynamic game. There's no set layout of the board. It consists of several hex-tiles that sit side-by-side to construct a new, somewhat random arrangement that allows for a ton of different board layouts. Each game is different, so strategy must be changed and player must be able to adapt quickly to win. The goal of the game is simple, amass 10 Victory Points which are achieved by building settlements, cities and collecting Development Cards. There are different costs associated with each. To find out more about the game, check out wikipedia or University of Catan.
We were able to play a game with myself, grimlen, notorious and araolath; grimlen won - the punk. It's a great game, a little bit of a learning curve, but it's not bad once you get the hang of it. IM me if you'd like to try out the PC version.
A couple of weeks ago I ordered an Xbox from a guy on the SA Forums. I paid $80 shipped and felt that this was a good deal considering that new units are still running $180 in stores. After a shipping snafu, I received my Xbox. It was in a box with no padding and had made three trips to and from the east coast. I'm sure that the package had been the game ball in a FedEx corporate soccer tournament. This did not bode well.
And indeed, the DVD drive had ceased to function properly. I found large caches of drives on eBay for $40 shipped. I bit the bullet and bought one from the closest shipper I could find. So now I was at $120 for my v. 1.0 Xbox (made in Hungary!) when for $40 more I could have a brand new one (made in Mexico!). In any event, I realized that Microsoft was attempting to subsidize the odd screw market and invested in three different sizes of Torx screws to secure the case and internal components as well as needlessly making my life more difficult.
I had ordered a set of T10, T15, and T20 Torx screwdrivers from Northern Tool but they would not bee here until a couple of days from now. I found myself at Fry's yesterday and so picked up a 9-in-1 Torx tool that included the correct sizes for the Xbox. I'm still wondering why the Phillips head isn't getting as much love these days. Thankfully the computer hardware industry has kept with Phillips, be it ever so skewed in choice for head size.
I woke up this morning and, after scratching my head for five minutes then finding the two stupid hidden screws, popped the case off. The folks up in Redmond took a page out of Dell's case design with this one.
I got Call of Duty 2 for Christmas from my parents. I didn't get a chance to install it until I got home after New Year's. It was worth the wait.
Finally a great game that wasn't (at least to me) overhyped. I didn't hear much about it other than a commercial or two on TV, and it's release on the Xbox 360. I thought it looked nice on the Xbox demo in stores, but that's what demos are for, to look nice.
I was surprised to find the gameplay still very much like that of Call of Duty 1. They took some aspects of CoD 1 and United Offensive out, like sprinting and "cooking" grenades. The weapon sounds are a bit different, for better or worse? I can't tell yet. The voiceovers are great, much more realistic sounding. Havoc says that the EAX support is much better than any game he's had. (I wouldn't know since I don't have a SB card) The graphics are phenominal. Imagine that, a sequel that improves graphics and doesn't require a video card upgrade! (BF2, *cough*, *cough*)
The game is super impressive. I'm very pleased. As with any sequel, there are a few minor differences that players might like to have back, like sprinting and cooking grenades, but the game overall is an excellent release without any glaring bugs or major flaws so far.
Oh yeah, and single player is just as fun as Call of Duty 1.
The reason you won't find the Xbox version publicly available is, like all modded Xbox software, it was compiled using an illegally obtained version of the Xbox SDK for Visual Studio. To download the ISO's .torrent, you can grab it from your favorite torrent tracker. The ISO comes with all of the .pk3 files, but if you want to play online you'll need your own q3key.
I grabbed the demo (thanks ltd for the link) and played the heck out of it. This game just blows away it's Vietnam predecessor. There are so many added features to the Battlefield engine that just keeps the game interesting; like the nice cockpit designs with functioning HUDs and tracking systems.
This game didn't turn out to be Desert Combat on steroids. You actually have to aim at your targets rather than just aim in their general direction with an rpg or stinger missle and score an easy kill. Also, not everything kills in you in one hit. There's a nice balance to the weapons and the vehicles that allow players to enjoy the game rather than curse the programmers that implemented BFG-like WMD's(i.e. the scud launcher in desert combat)
I'd say this game has great potential. All we can hope for is that they don't screw it up with patches that "balance" the game.
update: Let it be known that Battlefield 2 is infact the 3rd game in the Battlefield Line.
I received an old and busted Xbox from a friend for my birthday. It didn't work for him, he bought a new one, and gave me his old one (at my request of a cheap birthday present). I ordered an Xecuter 2.6 Modchip and received it this week. I just finished installing the modchip, turned on reassembled the Xbox, powered on and no smoke!
After reflashing the BIOS, I can now boot from a CDRW which contains Slayer's Auto-Installer. From here, I can FTP into my Xbox to move files around and upload new files.
After FTPing into the Xbox, I saw the C drive completely empty. When I tried to copy over the EvolutionX Dashboard replacement, I got a write-permission error. I decided this was due to a bad HD. I replaced it with a 200Gb drive I had purchased last Fall (but never used). I popped in Slayers, and it couldn't have been any easier. I can now play mp3s from the network, stream Shoutcast, play DivX movies from the HD, play ROMs from other game platforms, copy games to the HD and play them without the disc. After the soldering part, the whole mod was very easy thanks to Slayer's AutoInstaller.
Grendel sez: Havoc, I'm almost done modding your Xbox. Anyone else? IM me.
Xfire.com has this nifty instant messenger utility designed specifically for gamers. What? Another IM program? Well, it's more than that, this is a server browser too. If you're familiar with All Seeing Eye, it works similar to the concept only with a boat load of more features.
I thought the handiest feature was being able to see message from within the game. Go check it out.
grendel sez: But Steam does this for you!!~! Yeah, it's supposed to. Have you actually gotten it to work? No - this client actually works. It's even included in some of the latest patches and updates for your games. It's worth a look if you game much.
Click here to read up on the new update for Battlefield 1942 that was released December 1st. According to the release notes, the patch addresses some exploit. If you still play Battlefield 1942, you should install the patch. I noticed quite a few servers that were greyed out when I tried to load a server last night.
I'm surprised they bothered to release a patch for 1942. I really didn't expect any further support for 1942 after Vietnam was released. I'm still partial to 1942, and it's nice to go back to for some dogfight action.
update: Please note that this does not add any functionality to the game or enhance gameplay in any way, it only fixes a glitch.
I tried to hold off buying the game until after the hype was over and the price came down. First of all, $55 is kinda pushing it. I know most games come out around $50. So why the $5 increase? Do we get a nice hard-plastic protective jewel case to hold all 5 CDs in? no. Do we get an extra-cool full-color manual in the box? no. Do we get a manual at all? no So why am I paying an additional $5 for a game that comes with less than most others?
Ok, so I got the game. Went to Best Buy with my older brother, who was ready to get it. Don't get me wrong, I was excited about the improved graphics and physics, just wasnt' chomping at the bit to get the game. Finally, after a while, I get it installed - all 5 CDs worth. Then, I have to resetup my Steam account (*rant to come at a later date). Steam starts up, tries to authenticate with their overloaded servers, and eventually lets me play the game. The graphics are very nice. The animation is the best I've seen in a game, and the game physics are equally impressive. I could go on and on about the physics and graphics, but I'll just leave it at. The gameplay is alot the same as HL1, but hey, it's a sequel - it should follow. I'm quite impressed. It's a fun game. I wasn't expecting anything to just floor me, which is why I was reluctant to buy into the hype.
So, if you haven't been swept up in the hype, you shouldn't be disappointed. If you lost sleep the night before the release because you were too excited - you were probably let down. Don't get caught up in hype again. Overall, it is a fun game with alot of potential.
I just got the new addon to Call of Duty, called United Offensive. I just got it running. The gameplay doesn't feel like any change from the original game, just like an add-on should be! It's just an addition of more weapons, more levels. Two cool additions are the use of vehicles (jeep/tanks) and new weapons (flamethrower/deployable machineguns).
I have to post one frustration with this. For some reason, the game is detecting "CD/DVD emulation software" on my computer. I do have CloneCD, and that may be the reason, but this should not affect the game at all. (one piece of software should not interefere with the next; nor should another piece of software care if the first is installed) So, the game would not start out of the box, because it was unable to read the data from the CD. I eventually went to GameCopyWorld, and got the latest No-CD crack for the game. This fixed the issue. But I have to voice my frustration about such a gay issue right out of the box.
While attempting to fix the problem, I did find out that there are new nForce drivers available. They were posted last week. I will post more about the game as I play more of it.
EA Games has released an official World War II mod for Battlefield Vietnam. The maps are from the Pacific Theatre and it also includes a flamethrower. Click here
to read up on it.
Grendel sez: Played it, it's cool. The mod is essentially a reworked version of BF1942. The graphics are better, with more foliage, sharper models, and visual effects (explosions, gun-shot, tracers). Havoc and I decided that since EA/Dice weren't getting as many sales on Vietnam as they originally hoped for, they hope this mod will drive up sales. Overall, this is a great mod. If you have BF:Vietnam, check this one out!
After playing much Battlefield 1942, Havoc informed me of a mod that Dice is putting together for Battlefield Vietnam. The mod is a World War II mod which reworks many of the BF1942 maps, but with the new BF:Vietnam engine. In the screenshots provided, the foliage has been vastly increased to allow players more cover in gunfights. Also nice to know, the addition of a flame thrower for WWII mod players. update: Dice has released the v.1.1 patch for BF:Vietnam. This patch does not include the WWII mod.
The BöMB Squad has an official game server for Battlefield 1942. This server holds 24 people with 2 reserved slots and is also run by the Black Bag Ops server control package. Another thing to note is that the server is located in Texas on the ev1.net backbone and runs only the best BF1942 maps.
The hostname game.neodux.com should allow you to find it.
It also shows up on the master server list as Neodux.com - [BöMB] Squad Server.
Update: Havoc has setup the server to run BF1942 only right now. Come join us if you got some time!
Friday night I downloaded my first mod for Call of Duty called Merciless Blood Mod. It's a great change in gameplay from the original game. No weapons have changed or map changes, but it does change how the player reacts from incoming fire, gunshot wounds, and the mod adds gore and death sequences. When shot, the player becomes disoriented and things seem to move in slow motion. The gun may be shot from someone's grip, leaving them helpless in a gunfight. Puddles of blood also stay where a player is killed. Pain sounds are now added, so you can hear when a player is shot. Good times!
To download the mod, you must login to their site in the bottom right, here is an account I setup for distribution. Username: download Password: download
Battlefield : Vietnam, the followup to Battlefield 1942, is now on all store shelves across the country. I have yet to pick up my own copy, but will do so ASAP. From the trailer teasers that EA and Dice have been releasing for the past few months, the game looks amazing and all reviews say that it beats 1942 hands-down.
More to come... Anyone with a login and post/edit level access is free to post their thoughts here...
GrendelT says: Just got my copy. Those with GeForce cards, update your driver. I do like it. Alot. It's grown on me over the past 2 gaming sessions. It is a bit different than BF1942. Not as open-field battle like we're used to. It has a different feel too it. But the game makes everything feel dirty/rugid. how about a comic?
NTHavoc says : This game pwns. It handles just like BF:1942 with minor adjustments and overall it's a fun game.
Mackieman sez: This game does indeed own. I played on a mini-LAN last night, and lo, caps were busted.
I got Call of Duty for Christmas this year from my dad. It's a very fun game. It has more of a realism feel than arcade, but it's still very fun to play. It's not like Rainbow Six or any realism sim.
It covers various campaigns from World War II. You play as the Allied Forces: United States, Britain, and Russia. With each mission being a little different from the one before. I beat the game in a matter of days, but that was playing the game for hours on end.
The single-player gameplay is excellent. (i haven't played straight through a single-player storyline since Half-Life!) It has some very tough parts, certain points in the game you think it's impossible to beat. It's quite addicting in the middle of the game, and at the end it's a feverish pitch to keep pushing forward. The multiplayer online play is just as feverish. The gameplay is constant, and if you're looking for more man-to-man gun battles than Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty might be your game. I was very impressed with the graphics, and the way I got so caught up in it. Definately worth a look.