Have the logistics of Squad Santa been worked out yet? The reindeer are champing.
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@angryjedi Good points. As far as The Walking Dead is concerned, I feel myself measuring it up against TV dramas – not simply due to the concurrent show of the same name – but having it amplified in the investment department due to input, even as marginal as it may be.
A right hen’s tooth, given what usually tickles the fancy.
And that Dyad clown. I haven’t read so much wank since I last wandered into Action Button. Although Tim Rogers’ Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days sums up that game so perfectly, I gave the man temporary shore leave from the prison hulk of pretentious New Games Journalism conmen.
@sinfony I can see where you’re coming from. For the most part, I prefer as little or as subtly-delivered story as possible, and much prefer lore. Never been attracted to games for their narrative or characterisation, preferring ambient construction or just a well-conceived world.
Visual design does more for me than story does, most of the time. In short, I juz liek them pretty pictures.
I’m all in for Squad Santa, too. Forgot to mention that.
I know two people here who will be spattering their breeches over such an announcement!
@bowlisimo I had high hopes for Stellar Impact, but since LoL set the precedent for MOBAs requiring no upfront costs, my starship combat dreams ended up being nothing more than a lot of empty space. Absolutely gorgeous vessel design, with very nuanced combat.
And Demigod…well, it was that sense of grandeur that I just don’t get from the other subgenre heavyweights. That notion of the clash of demiurges, their savage combat taking place in the most majestic of locations. I do wish they’d launched that one right. It might have been a very different world today.
That said, it’s fantastic to see strategy games as the competitive forefront. So many people getting their game on.
I’ve only really played Demigod and Stellar Impact, but what’s a MOBA without a community, right?
Shame especially with those two…such a departure from the norm. Wish they’d shake up the visual formula in the sub-genre, but I suppose it’s like bemoaning the design of chess pieces.
I’m wondering where the hell RAD Soldiers is, in regards to F2P iOS games! It apparently launched in Canada, so get on that, my Canuck brethren.
I mentioned to @rocgaude that RAD Soldiers’ global launch into asynchronous excellence will get me back into iOS gaming that isn’t called Walking Dead.
@beige Miasmata, from what I remember, was coded by two blokes and is their own proprietary engine! Not sure what the game is like, but even from that angle, you’ve got to admire the tech.
And Cargo Commander isn’t a long haul game. It’s an after dinner mint. Or a morning coffee. Go for a space walk, loot some gear, aim for score, go play something else. Kinda like Weird Worlds or FTL in some regards. However, the game does have more beneath the surface when you start upgrading your kit and ship, and features an entirely new mode after you crack level seven.
@sinfony Awesome. I don’t think I’ve met another bloke who had played it! What a rich and intriguing world, like some sort of techno-Crimson Skies. I really hope we see another Yager down the line, especially with current gen/next-gen tech. Both that and Battle Engine Aquila need high definition sequels. Two absolute favourites.
@cgrajko That game leaves a fellow breathless and twitchy.
Fellows of the Squawk, may I just direct your attention this way for a moment. In a word, Teleglitch.
I’m reviewing this sucker at the moment, and it’s a corker. Imagine if Quake was a top-down survival horror shooter with roguelike sensibilities. And had a crafting-lite system. Teleglitch is essentially that. It’s a nice little piece of indie excellence and I highly recommend anyone who reckons the above sounds luvverly to dig in for the asking price of thirteen clams. A challenging, cold and satisfying thing.
It lacks a soundtrack, so augment your play with something interesting. I went with Stars of the Lid and it was phenomenally sad, watching my little bloke dismally try to find his way to the teleporter with rapidly depleting health…cobbling together nails and his old ration cans to make nailbombs (get behind something when these go off!), scratching around for shotgun ammunition and being cornered and slain by biological entities in this offworld base gone Island of Dr. Moreau. The crafting system, incidentally, is very slick. Combine tubing with plastic explosives to create a one-use Panzerfaust…hardware modules and pistol to create an SMG…rather spiffy.
Quite a tense and bleak experience. Might have to throw a little drum and bass at it for the next play session. Roni Size Reprazent…on Medusa 1-C. That’s well wikkid, innit.
Oh, and there’s a demo.
@redswir1 Good man. That’s one hell of a game. I’d say it’s my favourite puzzle game of the year!
@redswir1 I’d go with the Squaddie intelligentsia on this one, because I felt the same way about the demo as well – and let’s be honest, it was a horrible demo but I gather there’s really nothing you could squash into the demo that wouldn’t be detrimental to the overarching narrative.
And it’s Yager! You know, Yager! Magnus Tide? No? No.
…I remember you, Magnus Tide.
Oh, yes. Endless Space will be enjoying a free weekend over the next couple of days, and undoubtedly at a greatly reduced price. It has come a long way since release, including a lot in the way of adding personality and ambiance that many felt was missing from the game. New factions added, discovery events etc. etc., huge overhauls. Highly recommend Squaddies with an eye for such a thing check it out over the weekend, given the cost of entry is a few gig and an hour or two to see if it floats boats.
PC and Mac. Good to go. One of my absolute favourites of the year.
@beige We’ll lock the TECTRON into the Krupp Bagger 288 and herald the arrival of Harvestor, Earth Defender (Uncle of Recorderbot).
@beige There’s untold possibilities for write-ups here, especially given the economic state of Europe and threat of climate change. What a harrowing time to be a Bavarian sugar beet farmer. With a young wife, child on the way…this lemon of an inheritance. This is make-or-break stuff of Steinbeckian proportions.
Just imagine the rumination, the doubt, the uncertainty. Nothing but you, a few jalopies not fit to call tractors and a squawking, uncooperative brood of chooks that just won’t damn well lay. The last hope lies just o’er yonder, fallow land at the mercy of the market. You scrunch a ream of paper, marked rough with produce prices. Catarina stands on the porch, weary but resplendent against the balustrade with forearms gently locked around her pregnant belly. Your first seed sown, the choice of what next to sow looms long and large.
(Rocketry does…ever so slightly…edge out potato harvesters, so you win this round.)
Welcome to the Squadron of Sale! Good to see a lot of hard…and well, comparatively easy sales being made. Just glad a few folks leapt aboard the Cargo Commander business. It is a joy.
@beige Oh, indeed. Farming Simulator 2013…outside of being industrial vehicle pornography – consider it research material – the game milks that same dopamine teat stroked by the Harvest Moons and Animal Crossings of this world, minus the marriage proposals and raccoon mafioso respectively.
I mean, just latch your orbs onto that trailer! I half expected a moustachioed Franz Mueller to walk towards the camera to introduce this week’s episode of EuroFarm and the unveiling of the new Krone wheat header. “Willkommen, unt haf ve got a great show in store!” he says, a shiny Case plough-rig turning clods in the background. This show, and the host, are sadly figments of imagination.
There’s online co-op, if anyone picks it up and feels like shunting a Porsche bailer around a paddock while I turn a field for the canola crop. One of those curiosities that the German PC developer environment could not only make and sustain, but have a serious fanbase to the point of oodles of mods being available for the game.
I do go to a fair few agricultural shows, but like you’d expect, we’re not dealing with the American midwest or the Australian wheat basin…so the hardware is pocket-sized for the most part – discounting earthworks machinery. Paddy planters and rice combine harvesters, tea picking caterpillar tractors and such. Certainly very specified gear, but the size of the big Western rigs is magical, perhaps even romantic. I certainly love to wander about these contemporary feats of industrial engineering whenever I get a chance.
@cgrajko @shingro It’d be great to get some EYE co-op in, but it’s so hard to snag uninterrupted stretches of gaming these days, compounded by our time differences. Would love to, though, so perhaps if I can get a weekend to myself over the Christmas/New Year period, we can hack gothically…as the French seem to insist we must.
@beige Interesting thoughts on Hitman. The RPS blokes sounded really disenchanted with it. I recognise Blood Money as the high watermark, but I’m a Contracts guy. The morbid vignette take was delicious.
May as well play along. My haul of late as follows:
- Primal Carnage
- E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy
- Star Ruler
And the big one. A tale of steel and vulcanised rubber. An odyssey of a wild Earth daring to be broken and subjugated under the iron decree of screaming, thrumming goliaths. A Sisyphean war between unyielding foes where not even the setting sun can draw their savage conflict to a halt.
- Farming Simulator 2013
I wonder if this curious decision was influenced by Nintendo’s idea that the gaming console space is a molestation ring’s hardware of choice for grooming, and that little Billy’s Christmas present for his bedroom is nothing more than an unmonitored time bomb.
It can’t be for cost cutting measures, surely. The PS2 Slim took that gargantuan PS2 network modem and included it into a scaffold no greater than two stacked DVD boxes.
@beige Resistance is futile. At least in the lunch-hour gaming space. Let the score-wars begin!
@feenwager The one TV/tablet thing I could given some reason to. This? No idea. Didn’t a later model wifi-less PSP iteration get laughed out of Europe? You’d think they’d play up the smaller form-factor as a viable Netflix streamer box.
Or am I bringing too much logic into the equation?
@angryjedi You will find my corpse on Wave 7 or 8, due to breaking through a wall and stupidly trying to tackle a swarm of detonator aliens covering a cargo crate. Needless to say, the plasma shotgun worked a treat, if part of that shopping list included never coming home.
Go on, you’ve got a completely unique, procedurally generated Squadron of Shame sector awaiting you in that game (SQDRNOFSHAME). Drill, baby, drill. Trucker hatted astronaut. Letters from home. The corpses of other Squaddies await in the doomed, silent bowels of derelicts.
@beige Good old Front Mission. And what a tragic end to that franchise. The most painful part of playing through FM:E was knowing that the series has competently pulled off action before. We had Gun Hazard and FM:Alternative. Bit sad, really.
My wish list for mech reboots of the strategic persuasion includes Missionforce: Cyberstorm and a proper sequel to MechCommander Gold. MC2 was a characterless, graphically dull husk.
@angryjedi Go grab Scrapland. Hideously underrated, and made by the same blokes who did that new 3D Castlevania. Your kind of robots!
@impynickers @bowlisimo Planetside 2 is certainly the game the original was trying to be! I’m rather impressed by the engine, quite scalable.
@redswir1 Jump into Armored Core then, man. I know we’ve discussed it in the past, but it’s certainly a bipedal tank tinkerer’s nocturnal emission. The only think missing is that big, heavy awesomeness captured in the original Steel Battalion. And maybe a touch of character.
I think we need Chromehounds back. Or at least MAV to take over. And it’s certainly looking that way!
@bowlisimo I know the very one you’re talking about. I don’t think they ever graced the miserable Antipodean arcades…although I did once spy one of those Afterburner arcade pods, with the full-rotation. Many a young buck must have emptied their greasy food court lunches into those spheres of the future, I’m willing to bet.
Closest I’ve gotten is spending a few yen in the Gundam equivalent, Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield. A few yen my arse is the disclaimer, the thing costs around five bucks a pop, but like Border Break and many other Japanese arcade cabs, they’re linked up to a nationwide network, so you’re always going against or running with humans. Really quite cool, given the rounded projection surface. I’m no fan of Gundam, but otherwise, good – but expensive – fun.
@redswir1 I think they’ve managed to capture that mechanised delay and inertia of battlesuit combat so very effectively; from the temporary actuation lag between fire control systems and chassis direction to that very specific speed and turning. It’s an evocative, artistic triumph. Funnily enough, this is where I’m happy to rest the rump in the vacuum left by the classic arena shooters that has been unfortunately filled by back-pat manshoots like CoD – quality aside.
There are few things in this meagre life I take as brow-furrowingly seriously as vehicle design pornography. Hawken thus far is top tier, besting out even the old FASA stalwarts in the Battletech universe. It’s like Khang Le said “Let’s grizzle up them Phantom Crash/SLAI Scobies some.” Sweet, hot sauce. Stirring in the loins.
@bowlisimo I will agree to your requirement to a point, but it’s all about conveyance. I personally prefer smaller-scale machines, because rarely do they get the evocation of scale right with the bigger Mech franchises. Never felt that way with the Mechwarrior games to any great extent. The little I played of Chromehounds was almost there, but it lacked a sense of inertia and oomph in missing chassis bob or sway.
Give me a mech game that comes close to a proper tank sim (cramped cockpit, appropriate dials/readouts/systems management, crew etc.) and not be some Kinect-powered flail festival…throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going.
@redswir1 Man, I’d really just recommend going all-in and snagging the full Walking Dead. It’s critically lauded, won’t take up much of your gaming smorgasbord due to length and is pretty much the strongest game in terms of characterisation we’ve seen in years. It’s the safest bet a man can make. Everything else is a personal taste and mechanical crapshoot.
@bowlisimo Man, if you can run Planetside 2, you can surely run Hawken, so get in on that.
@angryjedi Good stuff, sir. Sticking the boot into the Black Dog is easier said than done. Bastard of a thing.
@redswir1 Wadjet really is some sort of glorious anomaly locked in a Lagrange point above an early Revolution Studios-esque world. Killer lo-fi aesthetics dress such wonderful high-concept adventure ideas. Primordia certainly looks the business. Might be the perfect winter game.
The first screens unveiled a while back made me giddy and tumescent. Look at all them robots.
Speaking of adventure games, let’s keep that spotlight on Stasis, Red, as I know you’re just as keen. A long and still-ongoing process, but channelling Sanitarium and Mission Critical (anyone play that? Hard sci-fi adventure game with a small VO role by Michael Dorn) and Solaris. I personally can’t wait and have been allowing a tiny rivulet of saliva to escape my rubbery lips since it was unveiled.
Also, Krater now has a demo on Steam.
@angryjedi It’s interesting how, on a chin-strokey level, game hardware especially sits in a strange grey area. It gets reviewed as a piece of hardware – all business, fundamentally driven by interface and form. The output, however, is totally artistic. Even as a dedicated piece of kit, unlike a PC where there’s some element of hardware malleability, the creative possibilities – even the most noble of enterprises – seem to fall secondarily to horsepower and consumer expectation.
And there’s merit in consumers expecting industry standards, like voice chat etc., but I can’t but help think…in an industry that is built around interactive installation art, where everything within a virtual construct is the product of creative vision…something somewhere has been damaged along the way. We’re using critique honed on consumer electronics to assess ‘art’.
Maybe I’m off on some tangent.
Anyone care to put a finger on the acerbic press reception the Wii U is getting? I mean, as a Vita owner, living in so-called commercial palliative care – less than a year after it launched in the West – is something you’ve got to endure from the peanuts…but on launch?
Wince-inducing call of the day on the OS and specs goes to: “…six month too early software on hardware six years too late.” Good heavens.
Good for…the people who buy it, I suppose. I do think when it comes to console hardware, nothing really makes a compelling argument against PC gaming – even with middling rigs. Range of experiences, cost of entry past the initial clams for the machine, multi-functional in terms of usage. There are a few strawman arguments like comfort and the slightly stronger “exclusives!” perspective, but when it comes to value for money…
No hardsell. And Star Citizen.
An Idiot’s Guide to Ostracisation from Learned Geek Community
As much as it is held in high regard, and as much as I ‘got’ the maelstrom of craziness and sprite thievery, I never quite managed to enjoy my time with Hoopz Barkley Saga more than simply a shrug and a patronising, motherly feeling of “Well, that’s nice, dear. Run along now, you’ll be late for practice.”
What utter fools people like this are. I mean, really.
@cgrajko Don’t you file that in the great escape clause cabinet under ‘irony’ or something? Or something. I don’t know. While I’ve had fun in the PS2 era GTA games, and think they certainly deserve praise for working wonders with audio-visual themes and motifs – Vice City, San Andreas especially – my heart does belong in to the early games.
I’m all about the *krrsshk*we-got-a-ten-fourteen-in-southwest-hacknslash*krrsshk* GOURANGA! and such.
“All you had to do was follow the damn train, CJ.”
Krater is a frontrunner for me, if we’re tossing around GOTY candidates. But it’s been a bumper crop and I never really can choose a single title, as each type of game sates a particular want.
@cgrajko Now THERE is a contrast for the ages. Miami Hotline to Journey. Good heavens!
@cgrajko Good stuff, man. Stunning game.
@redswir1 Hmmm, they’re just utterly dry – detrimentally so, if you’re not a specific fan or type of gamer – optimisation equations at the end of the day. You take a group of components, each component having a variety of different stats and requirements that feed into holistic operational capabilities, and fit them together to create a very unique machine. You don’t really play these games for the story, you play the game to test your mech and refine the shortfalls.
I highly recommend Armored Core: Formula Front on PSP. No digital release, sadly, but it’s actually more like Carnage Heart, because you can choose to let the AI fight for you. You program the AI and behaviour of the machine using a timeline, combat chips and intricate parameters, but it’s the best way to truly optimise your creation for combat.
I generally don’t like the newer AC games, because they’re a little too flighty for me. I really don’t have patience for the hyper-speed/boost everywhere, non-Real Mecha, so any game on the PS2 is a good place to start – primarily Nexus or Last Raven. Nexus introduced dual analog control to the series, too.
In a nutshell, they’re vehicular test beds and if the idea of tweaking the calorific value of your generator to better manage your anti-missile lasers or trying to find a nice balance between your fire-control systems and AI movement plotting, Armored Core is the pinnacle. Glacial series in terms of iteration, but magnificent in terms of attention to detail.
EDIT: Ha, look at that. I wrote a review for AC:FF back in 2008 for the Giant Bomb database. Forgotten all about it.
FROM won me over with the original Armored Core, but also with the Otogi games. They’re such…I dunno…they have this absolute and singular focus with their games, be they dungeon-crawlers or mech creation kits. Let’s quietly forget the ridiculous misfire of Kinect Steel Battalion, but they’re awesome.
@bowlisimo Oh, but how the Squad would love both Airmech and Cargo Commander. *sigh*
The last I’ll harp on about Cargo Commander, friends, but you can snag it for six dollars. That’s right, six American bones until November 9. All you need to do is follow these steps to success for PC and Mac.
- Step 01: Go to GreenManGaming.
- Step 02: Use the code GMG25-UAAHK-6AI9S at the checkout for a further 25% off.
- Step 03: Redeem key on Steam.
- Step 04: Get to work, commander.
There’s my Hard Sell of the Month quota met.
Speaking of horror, a little tail-ender for the spooky season from some folks in Vancouver. A lonely little sidescrolling survival game called Ascension. Play-time is around two hours. Cost of entry is free.
Ascension is a survival horror sidescroller set in a skyscraper plagued by a strange disease.
Stay safe and dry, Squaddies in that horror weather in the States.
@shingro Sounds a hell of a lot like the mileage they’re getting out of the Men of War engine. Cheers for the response.
@shingro Worth picking up the new King’s Bounty if you feel you’ve had your fill of Armored Princess/the prior games?
@angryjedi Ol’ Desura…it’s an absolute treasure trove of interesting and unique multiplayer gaming, but the only issue is player base. Makes me sad. However, with this Steam Greenlight business – whatever you may think of it – we can see those barren server population numbers explode if they make the cut. Omegalodon is one that deserves it.
@redswir1 Couldn’t be a more perfect match than Beevor and Unity of Command!
@bowlisimo Get your grognard on, I say! Except, we’re heading into AC3 territory for you, so…uh…probably not! Incidentally, the most I’ve played of Civ5 was an exhaustive and not particularly engaging bit of multiplayer a few months ago. Never really grabbed me, those games, despite recognising their excellence.
@cgrajko More of that, again! Reports. Nervous reports, please!
@redswir1 Good man. Yeah, UoC is certainly both a gateway into more complex wargaming and a damn fine operation-level strategy experience in its own right. A near-perfect illustration of the importance of supply.
Quite frankly, its UI is best-in-show for the genre, with easily-accessible information and sense of progression and army state. Good show, Red. Damn good show. Keep us posted of your exploits on the Eastern Front.
Folks, Krater now has co-op, amidst a massive overhaul of systems and such! To celebrate, it’s now at ridiculous prices on Steam for today only.
Always a hard sell with this one, it seems. But, if you want Torchlight meets Borderlands with emphasis on MOBA-esque combat across curiously green and gorgeous irradiated countryside, there is much bang for buck going on right here. Maybe keep it for winter, if you’re one of those seasonal types. As stated prior, Mac version update coming early November.
@redswir1 @bowlisimo @shingro Kickstarter has had fantastic success with boardgame creation and production, but I think that’s more a reflection of that particular scene. Creators in the past have pitched an idea through manufacturing/publisher houses, audience interest is gauged, then a limited production run is made. With Kickstarter, the money just arrives earlier.
May as well do some house-keeping and updates:
Hotline Miami is coming out in a few days, a.k.a. psychotic Ryan Gosling simulator/rogue-like set in a nightmarish neon wonderland of depravity and carnage.
Krater is getting its long-awaited co-op update and systems/loot/mechanics overhaul, with Mac version to follow hot on its heels. If you’re looking for a slightly different take on the ARPG, this is certainly where you’ll find it.
Brain Candy are updating their slightly wonky but massively-promising Fray with a Reloaded Edition, which is free for prior owners and features single-player training, new UI and overhauled systems plus new maps and accoutrements. Very high hopes for this.