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10801  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sign the Hellgate anti subscription petition on: November 11, 2007, 01:55:52 PM
Why, why, why did you have to give us a Visual like that?  eek Tongue

I'm going to start a petition called, "The anti-Hellgate-petition Petition."  icon_wink No, not really. I just want to see the game get its 47 kinks worked out so we can start seeing what sorts of content updates they can do, and then subscribing might really appeal to me as well. smile

I wish they'd have more quests like in Diablo II's expansion. They seem to be cribbing too many MMO-like "Get me 3 of the Alfredo Monsters' ears, and 14 tongues from a Golaith Frokazoid etc.." Can't we have a quest that involves something more interesting than harvesting guts? Someone do a petition on that...
10802  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 11, 2007, 01:48:07 PM
What he said smile, though you give orders to 4 soldiers (not like 10-20 as in Full Spectrum Warrior).

It really has nothing in common with SOCOM, R6 Vegas etc. in terms of play. It's not a 'twitch' game [which you may or may not find good news, I find twitch shooters hand-cramping and tough to play on PSP]. The PSP attempts at R6: Vegas and Ghost Recon: AFW have been terrible. So I think it was smart for SOCOM to go to something very fresh and more of an "actiony" squad-strategy game. smile A more typical SOCOM shooter type game's under development for PS3, fwiw. Once you give squaddies orders, combat is a bit like the early Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon games (fast and furious, combat is rarely drawn out).

Here it's more you're making decisions upon when to fire, there's a lot of sneaking around, finding the best shooting angles, and then deciding when to let 'em rip, when to sneak up and do a stealth kill, and getting the "duos" and individuals to work together (via timed, coordinated attacks etc.). It's a very tense (in a good way) game, and it's not one where you have to feel rushed to work through the mission (you can be really thoughtful, and try different things).

I admit it's a tough game to describe, and it isn't probably for fans of the previous SOCOM games because it plays so differently and so much more like a tiny-scale real time squad-strategy game. When people say "you don't control individual soldiers," that's not entirely true. You can select one squaddie, tell him where to go, have him attack a specific target (you have to do this to use a sniper shot), you just don't have to worry bout being some sort of FPS whiz kid (just tell him what to shoot and when, and he'll do his best  icon_cool) as he'll take care of the dirty work.

In a way, it's a shame they used the SOCOM name for this because it'll scare off people who would love this type of tactical/strategy type game, and long time SOCOM fans who haven't read about how it's different will probably feel lost if they don't give it a chance.
10803  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSP 2007 Game of the Year babble on: November 11, 2007, 04:05:54 AM
We're nearing the end of the year. And I think about the only remaining PSP game that might be GOTY material is the PSP version of Warhammer 40K: Squad Command (we'll know how that shapes up next week - it's due around Nov. 13 or so).

My sort of "guess forecast" for PSP GOTY nominees includes at least some of these. I dug up Sony's official site for each game, for info's sake (beware some obnoxious Flash intros that take a while to load). I tried to break them down a bit by category, but there some genres (sports, racing, I don't really play or pay much attention to on PSP to this point). I put an asterisk by games not quite released, or just barely out (MOH: Heroes) that seemed to be shaping up well.

RPG
Jeanne D'Arc
http://www.us.playstation.com/Jeannedarc/

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
http://na.square-enix.com/fftactics/

Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
http://www.disgaeapsp.com/
[Not really my cup of tea, but I've read a lot of

Puzzlequest
I dunno-is it an RPG or just a fancy puzzle game?  icon_confused

Strategy
SOCOM: Tactical Strike
http://www.us.playstation.com/SOCOMTacticalStrike/
[I know I'm rambling on and on about elsewhere - it's so much fun and such a nice change from the relatively brainless SOCOM shooter PSP games to date, really. smile If something like this was on PS3, I'd finally get one. IGN disagrees with me, but I still expect it to get some "votes" smile]

Warhammer 40K: Squad Command *
http://www.squadcommandgame.com/
[Just based on a pretty fun demo, but who knows how the full game stacks up].

Shooter
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
http://www.us.playstation.com/logansshadow/
[I haven't gotten it only 'cause I'm still trying to finish the first game  icon_lol]

Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 *
http://www.ea.com/mohheroes2/features.jsp
[Based on some really strong early reviews, and lots of improvements over the well rated MOH: Heroes]
Anyway, the next time some out-of-touch dunderhead slams your PSP because "there's nothing good on it," you can politely thrust this list in their face with my blessings.  slywink

I'll update this later. Man I spent an hour on this post. Gah. If you read down this far, you are rewarded with...

Blackjack's Most Disappointing PSP Titles of the Year thumbsdown! [These were disappointing to *me*, so I apologize in advance if any of these is your Favorite PSP Game of the Year  saywhat It's all in good fun.]

SWAT: Target Liberty
http://www.swatpsp.com/splash/
I think I'm maybe the only person who bought this.  disgust As much as SOCOM: Tactical Strike gets right about a tactical, actiony game (including a rich variety of environments), SWAT gets it wrong. Stick with Killzone: Liberty if you want an isometric PSP shooter, and go for SOCOM: Tactical Strike (just hitting shelves now) if you want a rich tactical-strategy/action game done right (imho). And write Guerilla Games about doing a Killzone: Liberty followup when Killzone 2 fails to be a "Halo-killer" (a 900-pound gorilla label, right up there with "WoW Killer" and "Diablo Killer," that probably no game can live up to.  icon_neutral)

Alien Syndrome
http://www.sega.com/gamesite/aliensyndrome/fullsite/index.html
I hesitate to call this Most Disappointing "game" because in its own way, this got me back into PSP gaming (mine had gathered dusts for months until I rented and then bought this). But the environments are numbingly repetitive, the loot is actually excessive for such an arcadey shooter, and that the guy [Larry Holland] behind classics like virtually all of the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe and the under appreciated Star Trek: Bridge Commander is reduced to doing a conversion of an ancient Sega arcade shooter-thon on Wii and PSP is... well.. sad.  tear The disappointment isn't the game, so much as that someone with that creative a track record isn't getting to do something a whole lot more ambitious (on any platform). I mean, imagine if Sid Meier did SWAT: Target Liberty.  Tongue (I know, maybe then the game would've been GOOD!)

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
http://www.lucasarts.com/games/swbattlefrontrenegadesquadron/
I'm renting this now. The controls are sloppy, the graphics are just not very good [especially compared to terrific looking titles like the Syphon Filter series, SOCOM: Tactical Strike, and the demo of next year's God of War: Chains of Olympus], the space combat's a mess, and most reviews are only lauding it for its multiplayer. Devs can do great work on PSP, but this just isn't a game I'd use to show off the system to a friend (just about anything listed above would better do that). It boggles my mind that Sony is bundling this game when there are so many excellent titles that better show off the system and have better thought-out control schemes.

A scaled down Knights of the Old Republic (turn-based stuff works better in PSP's limited button set) would seem like a great fit for PSP. I really wish they'd explore something like that instead of making a relatively mindless shooter that just demonstrates how clumsy this kind of game is on PSP if not done carefully.
10804  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Hellgate London Name and Server List on: November 11, 2007, 03:03:25 AM
I started an Invoker.... er, Revoker... a Volkswagen?  icon_confused

Flamebait (Shulgoth server). Fun, but I'm having difficulty adjusting to life without droids and drones looking after me.  icon_biggrin

And a Marksman (that'll be the end of my "alt-itis" for a while):
Blackjach [Blackjack's taken  icon_cry] (Shulgoth server)

btw, I really wish the game would let you add someone to your friends list even if they're not online at the time.
10805  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 11, 2007, 12:55:20 AM
After reconfiguring my squad's inventories, redistributing experience points and just getting more comfortable with the interface (it's well designed, but there are a lot of things to know, and to remember including what buttons to "press and hold" and what to just "tap), I think I finally fell in love with this game.  icon_biggrin I know it doesn't say much for my social life.  crybaby Tongue

I got so enveloped in the first couple missions, that I ran my PSP Slim's battery dry (it just goes into Sleep Mode to save what little juice is left and warn you to hook it up to AC). icon_cool

I wish there was some easy way to share images from the game. I try taking PSP shots with my digital camera in macro mode, but I just can't quite get it to focus usually. Here's a glimpse of the inventory screen for one op:

Those little slots below the primary and secondary weapons (pistols are basically just for emergency use in the game if out of ammo) are for attachments. There are many varieties of scopes, laser-red-dot sights, along with noise/muzzle flash suppressors for the secondary SMGs.

The "suitcase" thing in the right side of inventory is a medkit (2 packs per kit). In the same slot you could instead choose extra sniper ammo, extra rifle ammo, or grenades (HE, flashbangs, smoke).

New weapons are unlocked after each completed mission. (In theory the unlocked one should be esp. helpful on the ensuing mission but you can use anything available -- M16s and M4s are always available, couple different sniper rifles, and couple different pistols. The weapons variety is quite wonderful (all presumably licensed with their real model names), comparable to the Rogue Spear games in that respect.  icon_cool

One of the stats you can put points in will let you increase the # of secondary slots, critical if you want to carry extra medpacks and grenades (2 per kit).

Other than the aforementioned sometimes clumsy camera view (it's not a deal-breaker by any means, it's just something you have to workaround and eventually it's not much more than a minor annoyance), I'm slightly peeved that at the start of each mission, it seems to arbitrarily shove a "free" (there are credits you use to buy unlocked weapons) unlocked weapon into the first squadmate's inventory. The problebm being that my #2 guy is my sniper, and the game always shoves the new, unlocked sniper rifle into #1 guy. If I equip #2 with it I have to buy it (credits are fairly plentiful though). So, if you play this and want to save money, make your #1 guy (going left to right on the squad screen) your sniper guy, and you'll be a little happier. smile

While this isn't Gears of War, the AI (both enemy and friendly) makes terrific use of cover. And the little "ghost images" make it easy to know quickly how your squad/duo/individual will take cover behind something. All the maps are full of all sorts of cover, and possible sniper perches, so you pretty much never need to be out in the open. smile The mission maps are huge (checkpoints seem spaced reasonably fairly, though it's possible to miss one, and not all the waypoints in a mission will save progress [most do]), very intricate, overlapping -- a lot like Killzone: Liberty's maps in that regard.  icon_cool

Elevation is really key in the game. I got whupped on Mission 1 when I approached an open courtyard at ground level; once I experimented with going back to some stairs and approaching from up high, *aha!*, a light bulb went off above my head. Made it much easier to get a bead on high targets and you have more protection from lower attacks.

You would think sniper attacks (since you aren't controlling the way you do in a shooter -- basically you pick a target, hit the Square button and AI handles it) might feel dull or sort of detached, but it's great. The sniper talks about closing in on the target, you see the scope view zoom in and hear him hold his breath. It'll get tricky cause the AI will sometimes bob behind cover, or you'll lose the line of sight. The exhaustive use of voice responses and orders in the game is really immersive.

I haven't quite gotten to the point of using the "delayed" orders much. You can actually move an individual soldier around and give him orders (not just duos and the entire squad of four). After I got comfortable with controls I really got involved in setting one duo to say, cover a certain area, while the sniper took a shot and then backed up behind them. Then *boom*, they take out the enemies dashing around the corner. There are lots of opportunities like that.

Ok enough rambling thoughts for now. Good stuff. Great even. smile I'll hope that it gets to battle FFT: War of the Lions and Jeanne D'Arc for PSP Game of the Year.  icon_biggrin

I was trying to find a nice, tidy screenshot gallery for this. Some site called Showbuzz.CBSNews has just such a set. smile
http://www.showbuzz.cbsnews.com/elements/2007/10/25/games_gamecore/photoessay3410881.shtml
10806  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360]medal of honor airborne demo up now on: November 10, 2007, 07:13:30 PM
I'm going to try to finish the end of Der Flakem today (PC). Final push. I've got to remove it for hard drive space soon.  Tongue

Addendum: *every* Time I think I'm finished, I get another checkpoint save and "go meet the engineers in the blah blah room." ARGH! What, the engineers don't have a watch or a compass?  icon_evil
10807  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 10, 2007, 06:56:14 PM

Quote from: Destructor on November 10, 2007, 04:46:00 PM

And one quick point - if you're a ranged class and are fighting a giant monster, just keep moving backwards while holding down the trigger.
Actually that's how I fight everything in the game.  icon_lol I just didn't realize initially how hardy those Goliaths are. I'm going to try to post a couple links to little FRAPS gameplay videos I took. I'll have those up shortly. smile

Blackjack's Hellgate Videos icon_cool
Click here to watch Hellgate-by-Flagship-Studios---Goliath
This is somewhat distorted (my size doesn't quite match what Putfile.com hosts it as). I learned to backoff from these things and use cover a little bit.

Click here to watch Hellgate co-op w/ LeChuck
Brief footage of co-op with a Summoner named LeChuck. He was fun to play with. We just got really frustrated with the bug that separates your group when entering the door to the next zone (I could see his pets but he disappeared, he couldn't see me at all  icon_confused)
10808  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sign the Hellgate anti subscription petition on: November 10, 2007, 06:50:58 PM
I was hoping this was the "Petition to end Hellgate Petitions until Flagship has actually gotten the game polished"  icon_biggrin [which could be months  paranoid]. I'd argue they should delay the idea of subscriptions [but not cancel the idea] and focus on fixing the game, improving the chat systems (not to beat a dead horse), making it so your co-op team can actually go through a door into the next zone without getting separated (talk about bugs  Roll Eyes) and doing all the other improvements and fixes necessary because of its (by most opinions) premature release. THEN they can do all those ambitious updates, new content and other goodies that would really make subscriptions appealing to more gamers like me (and I like the game so far, I'm just convinced their focus should be on polishing the game, make it so good that we all want to subscribe).

Of course a few folks are already subscribing and they'd probably feel understandably screwed over if the subscription system were abruptly dropped and everyone had the features and goodies they were paying for, which is why I doubt they'll listen to me (The Delayer), or to the petitions.

If Flagship's financials depend so desperately on $10 monthly subscription fees already, then they've got serious financial problems and they need a new accountant.  Tongue Seriously if it turns out they desperately need monthly fees (rather than it being a "bonus"), then I wouldn't understand why they didn't just stick with a monthly-fee-required game.

As an aside, back when I ran a little fan site dedicated to the German strategy game Incubation (Geo's Incubation Site), I got maybe 250 signatures over the course of some years for an "Incubation 2" petition (I wanted a sequel). The game's producer said I would've needed thousands and thousands of signatures for the petition to carry any weight at all with the publisher. But I felt better doing the petition, so, my jokes aside, I don't begrudge anyone doing this sort of petition if it makes them feel better. Just know how many legit sigs you need for a publisher/dev to take any notice.  icon_neutral
10809  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: November 10, 2007, 03:24:13 PM
Sounds cool, Lockdown. There's no perfect MMO (not even WoW  icon_biggrin) that everyone responds to. I do tend to respond more to heavy combat. LOTORO has plenty of that, but a lot of other stuff to do too (I just felt after a couple high lev characters that I'd done all I cared to do and see there). I just loved the combat and animations so much in COH that I didn't mind that I'd done everything mission wise over the years (though it did finally catch up with me).

TR seems tailor made for me, but I'd like to try a trial version of the full game first (if they do that sometime). Though I guess the problem with that is I wouldn't get to see what higher level content is like.
10810  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: NCSoft buys City of Heroes on: November 10, 2007, 12:41:49 PM
I probably lost a third of my global friends list buds over the Enhancement Diversity stuff. Although they're probably committed to PVP, I felt like introducing PVP introduced an utter Pandora's Box of balancing issues (as much as they tried to say they wouldn't let PVP issues bleed into PVE effects, that kept cropping up).

I mainly gave up recently because I had too much non MMO stuff to play (I'll probably unplug from LOTORO soon too, haven't hardly played at all in months), and because, well, clicking glowies, escort missions and the like had just lost their appeal. If they can revamp a lot of areas as well as they did ... uh.... oh dang I can't remember the zone's name I've been away so long. The Hazard Zone that got revamped a few updates ago.  icon_confused
10811  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: November 10, 2007, 12:19:08 PM
Gamespy had a pretty enthusiastic review (4/5 stars):
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/tabula-rasa/834278p1.html
And most of their staff was very keen on it in their rambling "Pile On" (which is just them sharing individual opinions, and they were all quite hooked).
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/tabula-rasa/833841p1.html

There's still some skepticism about its long term appeal (how well/often they updated it with new content, and if they get an auction house implemented will play a big part in that). The crafting system sounds as baffling as the one that confounded most people in Auto Assault.

I've just got my hands totally full right now (Hellgate and COD4 on PC, SOCOM: Tactical Strike on PSP), but I'm definitely interested in reading about continuing impressions on this. smile I'd just like to see how the initial updates go for TR and how well they're going to support it (the decision not to do an official message board for it is really disappointing to me, considering how well NCSoft ran boards for their other games, even the maligned Auto Assault). icon_confused

I felt let down by the TR beta, but it really was just a mess at the time I tried it. It sounds like it's in far better shape at launch. Given Gods & Heroes' cancellation, and Conan, and Warhammer Online fleeing their original tentative late 2007 release dates, I guess NCSoft should feel good they actually got an MMO out the door at all at this point in the year. smile

If I cancel LOTORO soon I'll be officially "MMO-less," and it might induce me to give this a try. What server do you guys play on? (just in case smile).
10812  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 10, 2007, 12:09:46 PM
I am enjoying this (SWAT: Target Liberty took only a couple days to disappoint me but this immediately felt good, even with some somewhat clumsy camera view/angle issues), but Hellgate and COD4 (PC) are hogging my time atm. If anybody's lurking and has a question about how this plays, just let me know. smile
10813  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 10, 2007, 12:02:53 PM
I was feeling good about my new Laser (it's more like a Tesla lightning thing you can "toggle" onto a target till it fries icon_twisted):


But the Goliaths (the game needs more enemies this intimidating imho smile) were not impressed and stomped my face into the ground:

My first attempt went badly, I think cause I was so used to steamrollering everything in sight. I actually had to use some strategy with these guys.  icon_cool
10814  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Assassin's Creed thread - brought to you by Jade Raymond on: November 09, 2007, 10:16:13 PM

Quote from: Knightsabre on November 09, 2007, 08:24:50 PM

icon_eek
Blackjack, that was really quite funny.
Thanks. smile I too think Jade is gorgeous (not enough to distract you though if something's wrong in the game Tongue), and I'm hoping the game turns out well. Most producers seem basically to be "cat herders," so I do imagine even working on a game that turns out poorly is valuable as far as learning how to get a crew to work together.

It's just, well, nobody every really did figure out why the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time didn't find a massive audience befitting a game with such great reviews. Going grittier with its followups didn't seem to aid sales. If it's because the games were too complicated, then Assassin's Creed might well fall into the same retail sales dead zone. Hopefully, like Bioshock, the game will attain better sales than its spiritual predecessor. Sometimes innovative games just don't click with the mass audience, but sometimes they do.  icon_confused
10815  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Gods & Heroes Rome Rising is dead on: November 09, 2007, 07:51:55 PM
Oh, btw, all over the walls in Hellgate are travel posters for Rome, usually next to the in-game ad for Dark Horse Comics. The Rome posters always reminds me of this game.  icon_cry
10816  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 09, 2007, 07:25:12 PM
Hellgate's setting some new record for "most player petitions" shortly after release. The latest (mentioned at Blue's) says to do away with the subscription model altogether  saywhat (somehow, I don't think Flagship's going to listen)
http://www.petitiononline.com/hglsubs/petition.html

Most MMO's charge $14.99 a month or more though so I don't know how good a basis for comparison that is. They'd be better off drawing a comparison with Dungeon Runners (whose optional fee is $4.99 monthly I think).

I think it makes more sense to give them some time to stabilize the game, servers and billing situations -- and maybe jazz up the chat window -- before drowning them in a sea of petitions they probably have no time or plans to view, just imho.
10817  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Hellgate London Name and Server List on: November 09, 2007, 07:06:49 PM
ROTC1983, you forgot about lil ole me on your compilation post. smile Though I am relatively new to the GT forums. Perhaps I have not passed my towel-snapping initiation ceremony yet.  icon_surprised

Blackjack=Blackdroid on Shulgoth (Level11 Engineer)
10818  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (11/5) (The real post) on: November 09, 2007, 07:01:02 PM
I got:

SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) Nov. 8, at Gamestop.

I got Call of Duty 4 at Best Buy Nov. 7, but on PC.
10819  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 09, 2007, 06:44:10 PM
Is anyone here Australian by the way? Although my squad speaks English, some of their Australian sayings during combat make no sense me to at all.  icon_confused I need someone from the Outback to translate...
10820  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD4 impressions (demo on pg 1, game on pg 2) on: November 09, 2007, 06:39:34 PM
To be fair, Infinity Ward has been around for years and seems to have a great relationship within Activision. Flagship is a start-up, and I just get the impression their dev team is not exactly a cohesive, veteran team. I'm being nice about it in terms of Hellgate's launch condition.  disgust I still enjoy Hellgate, but I really have this vision of Bill Roper on this ship that's full of holes, taking on water, and all the crew is frantically bailing water out and putting duct tape on holes.  saywhat. Meanwhile, Infinity Ward is this iron bottomed schooner with nary a scratch on it.  mad

I think it's great IW set up separate launch teams for each platform (according to Grant Collier interviews), set no limits, and just told them to make the best use of the platform they could, and the end result seems to be that it runs beautifully on each platform.

I've loved what I've played so far. I know the storyline is not exactly original, but I really am impressed -- relatively speaking, it's not like PC game storytelling is Shakespeare -- with some of the storytelling techniques.

I was reading some grumbling at Penny Arcade ("Gabe" for some reason comparing it with R6: Vegas), but he seemed to be comparing Apples and Oranges. I would no more compare it to R6: Vegas, than I'd compare Half-Life 2 to Ghost Recon: Advanced War Fighter.  icon_confused I have told buds who prefer more "open," less scripted single player games to perhaps wait for Crysis but otherwise it has my wholehearted recommmendation to everybody. I just wish they'd find a way to do co-op, or give mod-makers the tools to implement that.
10821  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 09, 2007, 01:46:20 PM
I think they revamped the official site a while back. Since I can't do screenshots per se, it's worth checking out if the game interests you:
http://www.us.playstation.com/SOCOMTacticalStrike/

I got fairly far into the first real mission. I have a definite shortage of medpacks, and I think I used a couple by mistake as I got used to the buttons interface. Movement waypoints also serve as checkpoints during the mission. The maps are pretty huge but these points are at least sprinkled around a decent amount.

I accidentally set one duo to "Fire at Will" and while they did do some serious damage (before I could remember how to change the setting), they seriously wasted ammo. You can grab any weapons off of fallen enemies.

The enemy AI's pretty good generally. It really pays to mostly move in stealth mode, cause if you jog, they seem to always get alerted in the vicinity.
10822  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 09, 2007, 04:59:13 AM
Blue's mentioned this tonight (hopefully I'm not repeating something from another thread here), forum post by Flagship about continuing fixes/improvements:
Quote
Dear Customers,

We realize many of you are experiencing a variety of problems. We at Flagship and Ping0 are working hard to address these issues.

Our current top priorities are:

* Resolving any remaining problems related to billing and subscriptions.
* Fixing two known bugs which cause players to sometimes lose items (one related to dual focus/dual melee, and one related to loading issues).
* Making improvements to memory usage in order to reduce "Memory Exhausted" crashes.
* Fixing a known issue with the user interface which causes the application to lock up intermittently.* An issue which occasionally prevents characters from being able to load or switch instances.
* General chat interface improvements. (Many improvements are in the works).
* Random disconnects and lag.
* Allowing higher resolution textures and models for other players.
* Various known problems with being able to continue interrupted side quests.
* Remnant quest items not getting destroyed and "clogging" up inventory.
* Continued problems with saving / loading Engineer Drone items.
* Invisible party members.
* The nanoforge not correctly improving rare and better armors.
* Getting stuck on collision.

Some of these are issues which will be fixed as soon as possible and go live in upcoming patches, some will be in our upcoming content patch, and others are issues on which we will make gradual improvements to on a continuous basis.

Of course we also have a more extensive bug list as well as lot of general improvements and new content in the works. Everyone here is
working full-time to support Hellgate. We appreciate your patience.

-The Hellgate: London team
Dear Flagship, You're supposed to do all this stuff *before* you release your game!  saywhat In spite of it, I'm hooked and the server seems quite crowded. smile
10823  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 09, 2007, 04:33:39 AM
Finally got to do a little co-op, with Arduos (who served as our "pathfinder" cause I get lost biggrin). Couple glimpses:



It's certainly more Diablo than MMO in co-op, sort of just destroy everything in sight and try to stick together a bit. smile
10824  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Show us your loot! [56k warning] on: November 09, 2007, 02:10:03 AM
I guess now I know everything I'm using sux.  crybaby But the screenies give me a clearer idea of the storage boxes visually so thanks. smile
10825  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 09, 2007, 02:08:10 AM
I've gone through the tutorial (more so than in most games, it's important to really go through this one and repeat the directions a few times), and I really dig it so far. If you liked the "soldier ordering/maneuvers" aspect of Ghost Recon, Hidden & Dangerous 1/2, Rainbow Six, that sort of thing, but didn't want to spend so much time showing your lack of prowess at FPS shooters (like me), then you'll really like this.

The orders are quite flexible, just takes the tutorial and a little experimenting to figure out how you want to handle situations. If you're patient, and like to learn things the more you play, this will probably be rewarding. I wouldn't call it a puzzle game per se (most would consider that to have negative connotations), but you learn after a while to view upcoming areas and enemy groups as obstacles, and it's a matter of figuring out the best way to use your "commander toolbox" to either tackle the situation or avoid it. smile

I'm going with the Aussies as my squad. The starting weapon loudouts are pretty interesting, and you seem to get certain weapons unlocked to handle specific situations (there's a modified M60 machine gun, and I've got one guy carrying a 50 caliber rifle for taking out vehicle engines it seems).

Graphics are generally solid, though I noticed some blinking in the background and clipping. It still looks like a decent FPS/third personer, probably as good as most of the better PS2 shooters, fwiw.

I can see where some reviews complain about the camera. It's not third person per se -- it's pulled back a bit, but it's fairly low and is presumably meant to limit your viewpoint so that's sort of behind either 2-man squad and you're not an omniscient guy controlling an RTS. It gets a little clumsy indoors but generally works fine outdoors.

The circle button drops a "skimmer" which I'd liken to a mouse cursor. You just point it where you want troops to go, and hold it down for special movement orders.

All the briefings are fully voiced, along with the tutorials. Foreigner NPCs speak in their native languages with subtitles.
10826  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Assassin's Creed thread - brought to you by Jade Raymond on: November 09, 2007, 01:53:59 AM
I'm sorry to break it to you guys, but this is what Jade Raymond looks like in the morning...

Isn't it amazing what makeup and a cup of Latte will do?  eek
10827  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Panzer Tactics DS on: November 08, 2007, 11:30:06 PM
I sought it. I failed (settled for SOCOM: Tactical Strike instead). The Panzers won!  crybaby
10828  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Show us your loot! [56k warning] on: November 08, 2007, 10:41:19 PM
One thing I'm struggling with is knowing intuitively what is a "great" weapon, what's a "good" one and what's something I should be replacing ASAP. I just don't have a frame of reference (my engy's level 10). I mean, are my 93, 83 etc. base damage weapons good, bad, mediocre, awful? I'm doing fine in combat (not boringly powerful, not frustratingly underpowered) so I guess I'm not really inclined to get jealous of someone else's Uuber Oomber Mega Zug Zapper but it seems pretty clear I'm not getting any Randomly Uber Drops as of yet. icon_confused
10829  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 08, 2007, 09:41:22 PM
A few reviews while I impatiently wait for the work day to end (although i really shouldn't be hanging out here from work anyway paranoid)

PSP Fanboy (rave)
http://www.pspfanboy.com/2007/11/02/psp-fanboy-review-socom-tactical-strike/
Quote
What makes attacking so appealing, and so successful in Tactical Strike, is the ability to queue commands. With the "On My Signal" icon (represented by a lightning bolt), you can delay commands until the appropriate moment. For example, you may be on a balcony, looking down at a few enemies. Delay the command to fire at them. Get one of your characters to throw a smoke grenade -- then provide the command to fire.

It's incredibly satisfying to see these plans in action, especially if you're victorious in them. When appropriately planned, each enemy encounter will take only a fraction of a second. With appropriate firing angles and the element of surprise, the enemies will simply not have enough time to think before they're dead.

Gamespy (liked, but pointed out serious flaws)
http://psp.gamespy.com/playstation-portable/socom-tactical-strike/832028p1.html

IGN (eh about it)
http://psp.ign.com/articles/832/832203p1.html
10830  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: NCSoft buys City of Heroes on: November 08, 2007, 08:55:18 PM
Couple of the devs posted in more detail (they are excited about continuing to work on the game with hopefully more resources). I assume NCSOft just wanted them to wait a day until they got the word out and the community reps answered some player questions.

Back Alley Brawler (dev)
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=general&Number=9575970&bodyprev=#Post9575970
Quote from: Back Alley Brawler
All of those things that we've had to push back or write off as taking too many resources to get done in the limited time frames and limited manpower. All of the bugs or QoL issues that have been lingering for what seems like forever because the programmers were too busy fixing the major bugs. All of those really big pie in the sky ideas that we've dreamed about for so long and couldn't do because there was no one who could implement them...that's all back on the table.

The sky is literally the limit. It's been really tough having to make decisions on what would be the 'best bang for the buck' and I'm really looking forward to having the recourses so that won't be such a deciding factor moving forward.
War Witch (designer Melissa, who has worked on the game since about 2002)
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=general&Number=9572764&bodyprev=#Post9572764

Also, a NCSoft Europe official said something (gamebiz interview) about there probably being a new "City of" game, along with continued updates/expansions for the existing games.

None of this is enough to bring me back to the game right now (just got too much else to play!) but I have a soft spot for the game, and hope springs eternal. smile

Apparently one thing they are really keen on is hiring more engineers to specifically work on lingering SG base issues. Hopefully the result of everything will be like "Extreme Makeover: City of Heroes Edition"
10831  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 08, 2007, 06:17:20 PM
Other thing from manual are skills (skill points awarded after each mish):

General Skills:
-Toughness
-Marksmanship
-Carrying Capacity
-Stealth
-Job Specialist

Weapon Skills
-Light Weapons
-Medium Weapons
-Heavy weapons
-Sniper
-Grenades

You can distribute skill points manually or let the game automatically distribute among four soldiers.

Completing primary, secondary and bonus objectives during the campaign earns Command Equity points you can use to buy new weaopns and equipment.

Completing secondary and bonus objectives earns Local Influence. Maintaining Good or Great LI scores for two consecutive missions lets you unlock weapons to purchase in the Armory.
10832  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 08, 2007, 06:11:21 PM
As with my SWAT: Target Liberty initial impressions, I'm at work so I can only share some tidbits from the manual. And I hope the game isn't the general disappointment the SWAT PSP game was.  paranoid

For the unitiated, this is the series' first foray into some more strategy-oriented. You don't directly control any soldiers (aside from directing hand grenade tosses from what I can tell). It's mostly about giving orders, and well, here are a few of them...

Movement Commands:
-Stealth to Position
-Move to Position
-Deploy Fireteam
-(Able or Bravo) Move With Cover
(Fireteam provides cover for the other team as they move to another location)

Attack
-Attack Target
-Field of Fire
-Suppression Fire
-Fire at Will
-Hold Fire

Breach
-Bypass Door
-Breach and Clear
-Breach with Frag
-Breach with Flash
-Breach with Stealth
-Use Window (break window and fire into room)

Collect
-Collect Weapon
-Collect Ammo
-Take Intel

Recover
-Use Medkit
-Revive (revive fallen comrade within a certain period of time)

Evasive Commands
-Regroup Fireteam (all 4 in one place)
-Switch Position

In single player you can play as Navy Seals, Special Air Service Regiment (Australia), Kommander Spezialkrafte (Germany), SAS (UK), Groupment d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (France), Unidad de Operaciones Especiales (Spain), 707th Special Missions Battalion (S. Korea), 9 Reggimento d'Assalto Paracadutisti (Italy and Korps Commandotroepen (Netherlands), all of them localized language wise (with subtitles, for those squads who don't speak English).

Online modes (no co-op, alas), with Mercs and Special Forces as the sides, include:
-Collateral Damage: Mercs must destroy over half the vehicles in the area by any means possible. Special Forces must defend the area.
-Demolition: Special Forces must prevent Mercs from destroying a critical object.
-Extraction: Special Forces team wins by killing all Mercs or escorting a VIP to the extraction point. Mercs win by killing Special Forces team or the hostage.
-FFA (Free for all): Deathmatch between mercenary teams.
-Suppression: Fight to death between Special Forces and Mercs. Winner has most men left standing.

MP lobby includes basic clan support, and friends, ignore and invitations lists. Voice comm on PSP headset is supported.

Initial reviews have been OK to enthusiastic, though it appears there are some camera view problems, and the enemy AI seems to be a lot better done than the friendly AI.

10833  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD4 impressions (demo on pg 1, game on pg 2) on: November 08, 2007, 04:06:04 PM
Mousing over didn't do anything (I expected it to) -- I thought maybe one of them indicated whether Friendly Fire from teammates was on. This reminds me of some road signs I'll see with a stick figure, squiggly lines, a tree, and antlers on it. And you're like, "huh?"  saywhat

I had a hard time keeping up with my AI SAS team in the prologue. In fact, at one point, I turned around for one second, and when I looked back, the team was two rooms ahead of me and the game autosaved. I couldn't tell if it was on purpose or not, but I thought my squad was made up entirely of Sam Fischers or something. Meanwhile, I'm like Screech in "Saved By The Bell." ninja2

As with the demo, the weapons just "feel" right imho; and at Regular difficulty anyway, the enemy AI seems challenging without being robotic killing machines (i.e., they miss a lot and you don't get a face full of bullets every time you peek over something). I 'ave this pet theory it's easy to make AI that never misses, and AI that never hits, but it seems tough for devs to design AI that's somewhere in between.
10834  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Show us your loot! [56k warning] on: November 08, 2007, 04:03:33 PM
I'm wearing this bug-eyed gas mask thing, how am I supposed to see anything at foot level?  Tongue I guess I'm missing my nose in front of my face, but I looked all over near the merchant in Charring Cross Station (or whatever it's called) and didn't see lockers. I'm sure at some point tonight I'll slap myself in the side of the head like in one of those V-8 vegetable juice commercials.  icon_surprised
10835  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Show us your loot! [56k warning] on: November 08, 2007, 01:49:58 PM
Hey, I've been asking -- where the heck are the "stashes"? Are they only for subscribers or something? The manual mentions them, but I've not seen any in any of the stations as of yet (maybe I'm overlooking something  icon_confused)

I'm just level 10, don't have anything too great right now. Weapon wise, got a rare rocket launcher yesterday:

A "quote" from George W. Bush included, no less.  Roll Eyes icon_lol

Though my Volt rifle is my bread and butter:
10836  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD4 impressions (demo on pg 1, game on pg 2) on: November 08, 2007, 01:39:53 PM
Wow, no shortage of multiplayer servers (1,200 this morning, though given the hour, many are empty), or players:

You can tell at a glance what servers are using voice comm. I'm not real clear what the 3 icons after the "speaker" mean (checkmark, Infinity Ward logo and "blue thing with a red circle around it."  icon_confused
10837  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD4 impressions (demo on pg 1, game on pg 2) on: November 08, 2007, 04:41:59 AM
Wow, what a prologue (albeit short). If you are motion sickness prone like me, you're going to find getting through the ship very challenging.  paranoid

Although I had to drop down to 1024X768 for a playable frame rate on my older PC (AMD64, modest ATI card) it really is drop dead gorgeous without necessarily requiring a monster PC to run. Just a glimpse of ze SAS in action (already seen in most trailers I guess):


I get easily frustrated in these things so I'm going with "Regular" difficulty as my miserable "training course" time suggested.  icon_biggrin

I probably need to update my drivers. I found one or two spots in the prologue where my screen became all meshed and pixeldy, and if I turn off shadows in graphic settings it has that same effect.
10838  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 08, 2007, 03:26:00 AM
My construction drone can finally carry a pistol (or shield if you want to make it hardier), via skill at L10:


*sniff* My little baby's growing up in the world.  tear I was a bit peeved it can't use rifles. And it seems like you lose the pistol when it croaks or you head back to the station. Er, or maybe not, I have to go install COD4, so I'm not sure if it retained the pistol when resummoned.  icon_confused
10839  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: NCSoft buys City of Heroes on: November 07, 2007, 10:52:18 PM
I initially didn't like Super Speed, and then all my last few heroes used it. Aside from a couple of painful areas (that could usually be traversed with the bonus jetpack temps given out at some special events), I became too impatient to use anything else. smile

People have often put COX down for not achieving WoW-like numbers but I think they've been quite happy with its 100,000-200,000 level subscribership over the years. In a genre full of horrific launches, fast burnouts and cancellations, there's something to be said for having achieved a relatively stable and solid playerbase since April 2004. Even if I got tired of waiting for a mission more interesting than clicking on glowies and "escort the idiot NPC."  icon_biggrin If Auto Assault could've achieved even half of COH's numbers (AA's numbers were something like 15,000-20,000 depending on whose estimates you read), it probably could've avoided cancellation, imho.
10840  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 07, 2007, 09:24:20 PM

Quote from: Destructor on November 07, 2007, 08:30:45 PM

How do you find what 'act' you're on, anyway? Does the game bluntly tell you you've 'moved on'? I'm level 14, and I know I haven't seen any giant notices that I've changed acts and such on my screen.
I think around L8 or so, when I completed a quest and turned it in at a rail station (I forget which one -- if you've seen one run down London subway station in this, you've seen them all  Tongue -- the contact was near the merchant), I got a modest size message on screen that said "Act 1 Completed" or something like that. I was expecting fireworks, maybe some dancing showgirls and confetti and Bill Roper doing the Macarena while wearing a toga, not just a few white letters on screen.   icon_neutral Later after one of the tougher quests in Hell, I think I saw the movie with "The Book." I haven't really gotten a grasp of the order of things.
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