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Funding Alert: ‘Graywalkers: Purgatory’ The next awesome strategy RPG

Awhile ago I started getting into strategy RPGs, specifically ‘Shining Force’. I downloaded an emulator and started playing, because it had been recommended to my by my brother. It was a charming little RPG, with cute little characters and terrible translations. But what kept me playing was its awesome strategy element.

Nowadays, games have been kicked up a few notches. Graphics are better, physics are realistic, translations are sometimes just as terrible. But most of these assets have been funneled into other types of games such as first person shooters.

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My short rendezvous with ‘ArcheAge’ leaves me wanting more

‘ArcheAge’ is just finishing up with its open beta. Sadly, I didn’t get to play it as much as I would have liked to, but I did attain level 15, clear the first two areas, get a mount and a glider, and became a wife. Not too shabby, I must say.

ArcheAge

So, what is ‘ArcheAge’? It’s a new F2P MMO (fun fact, almost just typed MOO – lol) from Trion that promises open world sandbox play in a world filled with angst and vengeance. You have your run of the mill mobs – ogres, spirits, small animals – and a basic quest line, with side quests to keep you busy. And of course, there’s crafting. Oh My God the crafting. This is sincerely the most crafting intense game I’ve ever seen apart from games like ‘Minecraft’. Aside from crafting your normal armor and weaponry, you can craft houses and everything that goes in them, boats and ships to take to the sea, and even better gliders so that you can bomb your enemies from above.

By enemies, I mean the other faction. This is a very PvP centric game – if it’s red, it’s dead. There’s no option to go to a strictly PvE or RP server, as there is in ‘WoW’ or other MMOs. PvP is everywhere. However, you better make sure that you’re fighting with honor. If you’re caught doing dishonest warfare (slashing down low level players, for instance), stealing, trashing other people’s farms, or other various offences, you will be taken to trial.

Now, this trial system is a bit different than, say, ‘League of Legends’. You’ll be taken to trial while you’re still online, and you’ll get to see what the jury has to say in the chat log. An interesting take on internet justice. Seeing as how this was open beta, I have no idea how well this will actually work once the game goes live. I’m hoping it cuts down on serious griefing infractions, but we’ll have to see. If it goes too rampant, they may have to scale it back a bit, or leave it for the worst offenders. Pirates, take heed, you may want to stay on your ships.

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Overall, the game is beautiful. To be honest, I had the graphics scaled way back on my machine, because my video card isn’t all that great. I did peek over at my husband’s screen, and the detail was much better. But, even with my lowest setting graphics, I was still pulled in by how well done the graphics are. It’s still not as realistic as, oh y’know, real life, but it’s a major step up from some of the cartoony looks of ‘WoW’ (I’m aware they’ve cranked up some of the graphics. I haven’t played in a couple years, though, so I’m basing off of that.) and demands your attention. The sound is beautiful, and the ambience is also realistic with the chirps of birds or the sound of water.

A few things that could be improved, though — The UI is almost a complete ripoff of ‘Tera’, and could use a little more “oomph”. The map starts out HUGE, but you can choose between small, medium, and large. It’s slightly annoying, though, in that it’s a HUD map with a clear background. That’s okay in some areas, but when you have 50 buildings around you, it’s a little too chaotic. I also had a hard time getting my abilities to go off (I’m a clicker, so sue me.) during battle, or even selecting targets. TAB targeting is basically the only way I could get things done. Something that I like, but other people may not, is the lethargic controls. Just like ‘Tomb Raider’ slowed down the speed of movements to make them more realistic, so did ‘ArcheAge’. Movements such as running, jumping, swimming, and fighting seems slow. But, it does increase its authenticity. You don’t just appear on your mount, you take hold and vault yourself up on that mofo.

If you’re looking for an MMO that offers a true OPEN WORLD experience, I highly suggest trying ‘ArcheAge’. I know I’ll be playing it when the launch happens. And, hey, if you want to get a headstart, you can always become a founder.

Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers

Well, Steve Balmer has said goodbye to Microsoft. So, what will that mean for the PC company, as well as the XBox?

He’s had his ups and downs with MS, but it just won’t be the same without this guy.

Quest for a Free to Play: Marvel Heroes

Ok, so lately I’ve been attempting to play Marvel Heroes.  By attempting, I mean I’ve been logging in and playing for as long as I can before it freezes up and crashes.  Granted, this game is brand new, and my FrankenCompy is not, but I’ve heard from fellow players that this is a problem on their end as well.  Too many sprites on the screen, and the whole thing goes bonkers and passes out.

OTHER THAN THIS HUGE FLAW, I actually kind of like the game.  It’s very Diablo-esque in its game play, what with the three-quarter top down view and the clicking for movement.  However, and there’s quite a few of these, a lot of the UI design and crafting isn’t really to my liking.  Just popping in for the first time, it takes a minute to figure out how to add friends and whatnot.  

And crafting seems really clunky as well, not to mention slightly useless.  Sure, you can create some potions and stuff, but the buffs (at least in the starting levels) aren’t really worth the time and effort.

I’ve been playing as the Scarlet Witch, and she’s pretty awesome.  She can hurl cars, shoot out beams of energy, and even make enemies burn in a pool of psychic energy.  But, since moving and shooting lasers are mapped to the same button, it can be tricky at times.

Starting bosses can actually kill you pretty handily, especially if you’re not grouped.  The game has this thing, though, that automatically groups you with people in an instanced area if you’re not already in a group.  That helps out a lot, and simmers down the amount of random people asking to group up for one guy.  

There are also area quests, in which all players in an area partake in a particular quest given out.  That helps a lot, too, if you’re active in it.  However, there are already players who just stand on the sidelines and wait for everyone else to do the dirty work.

As a comic fan, I do like being able to play a game with some of my favorite characters.  And, since it’s a new game, I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt that they’re actually going to fix some of the bugs in the game.  

As much as I’d like to rate it higher, it is what it is, and that’s definitely average.  There are better F2P games, and there are worse.  If you’re a fan of the Marvel universe, definitely check it out.  You don’t have to pay any money for it, even though they hurl suggestions to do so at every loading screen (which there are a lot of).  Just grab a few friends and have fun with it, because as many issues as there are, it still can be a lot of fun.

BOTTOM LINE

3/5 – It’s a decent game with a lot of bugs.  Also a few issues with control mapping, crafting, and loading screens.  Tends to crash when there are too many sprites.  Go ahead and give it a go if you’re a Marvel fan, or just looking for a decent F2P.Image

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