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8001  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Is there anyone playing Chromehounds online? on: October 19, 2006, 06:42:27 AM
Armored core is a different type of game.

I don't think I'll be buying chromehounds, even if it drops significantly in price.  The 20 man squad limit is effectively the death of this game when you consider there is no single player.

With only 20 people in a squad, and life generally being what it is, once the initial newness is gone and other games come out, those 20 people quickly find other things to do and it becomes difficult to find enough people to play.

Things would have been okay if they'd allowed squads to link up into companies or larger organizational structures.  Allowing members of different squads to play with each other without hundreds of people in one room.  Then I'd probably buy the game because with a much larger group of potential players, I can log in and reasonably expect to find other people to play with.

Then there's the parts for sale.  These said parts being significantly better than anything else out there, these parts were already in the game as seen on enemy hounds.  Kind of an ultimate F.U. to fans that bought the game they make you shell out more money just to stay on top.  The whole pilot progression and the world battle, while nifty at first, needs to be rethought as nothing really balances out.  Money means nothing and there's an endless supply of parts.  It'd be more interesting if these battles caused more permanent problems, such as having a part destroyed in battle means buying a new one.

Then there's the balance issues with heavy cannons...
8002  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: More EA Hijinks (Battlefield 2142 related) on: October 17, 2006, 08:36:56 AM
The game's the same old Battlefield dressed up in near future scifi.  Nothing new, it may be fun, but so are so many other games out now and in the future.

Not to mention I'd rather support other companies.
8003  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: More EA Hijinks (Battlefield 2142 related) on: October 16, 2006, 04:34:41 PM
I really hope BF1942 fails horribly, but knowing that they didn't put all that much money into it, I suspect it'll make money either way and the ads will get some more.
8004  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: South Park - the WoW Episode on: October 16, 2006, 11:12:33 AM
It's like my first and last Ultima Online experience.
8005  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Xbox 360) Splinter Cell Double Agent mulitplayer demo on Marketplace on: October 16, 2006, 07:23:18 AM
Just so you know, the closer a spy is to the terminal the faster his meter fills up.  So, you can get a good idea of how far away a spy is by looking at how quickly his download meter is filling up.  Likewise, as a spy, if you want to complete a download quickly, walk right up to the terminal and get downloading.

And yeah, the EMF vision doesn't work while moving, you have to stand still and let the haze clear before you can see anything.  After the EMF meter fills up, you can still move around slowly.  Once the haze clears the spy should show up bright as day.  If you still have trouble, simply stand right next to the terminal and turn on EMF and look around.  Use your sniper scope to look at any bright spots in that view.  You should at least be able to see the spy's head.  I very much like how the merc no longer has to worry about spies sneaking up behind them to grab while looking for a hidden hacker since his presence detector lets him know if he's in trouble.

I've been getting pretty good at killing as a spy.  I switch up spy roles now and then, either doing the hacking, or running interference on friendly hack attempts.  I'll usually set myself where mercs entering the room will only get a distant ping on their presence detectors, they'll think it's the spy that's hacking and run towards the terminal.  By then he's picked up the presence of my friend, and I can hack him while he's distracted, then run up and grab him while he has no presence detector.

Remember that unlike the sound meter from previous games, the presence detector can't discern between more than one spy.  So when a merc goes into an area, he'll only see one ping even if there are 2-3 spies around him.  So use teamwork.

By the way, you cannot deploy the drone with your back against a wall as the drone deploys right behind you, or you can crouch instead with your back against a wall and the drone will deploy above you.  This effectively leaves you open to some sort of attack while you use the drone, something which I've exploited quite a bit to kill mercs.  Often, when I run interference, I have teammate run into a nearby vent as the mercs bust into the room, he'll hide down there in a spot where he can't be shot or hit with grenades.  I keep an eye on the mercs from my vantage point, and they're usually too busy trying to pinpoint where my teammate is in the vent that they don't notice or look for me.  Eventually one of them will figure out that he's in the vents and start using his drone, that's when I let my teammate know to back up, and I zip out of my position and either break the merc's neck, or knock him out if he's crouched.

If you knock out a merc, take the time to hack his electronics if no one else is around.  It'll leave him without his presence detector for a bit and that could give a teammate more time to hack, a means to escape more easily, or enough of an edge to kill him.

One big thing I like about this new version is how the two sides relate to one other.  In previous games due to the way things worked, it was scarier to play the spy than it was to play the mercs.  Experienced spies would smack mercs around like playthings.  Now, the merc players can be more confident when simply moving around since his presence detector let's him know when spies are around.  Then spies are encouraged to sneak or be acrobatic by the removal of their close combat abilities, and the addition of a nice new set of escape maneuvers that don't require accuracy or timing to quickly get into vents, through windows, or through holes in the cieling.
8006  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Heroclix? Other games like it? on: October 15, 2006, 01:16:27 PM
Just the topic I was looking for.

There's some new non random pre-painted miniatures games coming out in the near future.  The first being AT-43 by Rackham.  It's a scifi setting with small walkers and alien invaders.  Do a search for it, the box set looks rather nice.

Pinnacle/Great White Games is coming out with Slaughter Gulch, a board game using the same style prepainted miniatures based on their Deadlands Setting.

Mongoose Publishing is coming out with a prepainted version of their Starship Troopers miniatures game, they're basically relaunching the entire game as prepainted, but still letting people buy the sprues if they want to do their own painting.
8007  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Xbox 360) Splinter Cell Double Agent mulitplayer demo on Marketplace on: October 15, 2006, 10:54:57 AM
TML, have you played the first two games before?

The problem with the first two games was that they had horrible tutorials, and a whole lot of undocumented features that were both arbitary and unintuitive.  This meant that unless a new player was really studying the game he wouldn't learn all that much from simply playing.  Instead he'd just be killed over and over by people using features that they can't fathom.

In this version, it seems like the features are there in front of you and are simpler in nature.  There's also less things to worry about at the same time.  Before a spy had to worry about mines, spy traps, merc vision modes and sound meter, map hazards, cameras, timing, etc.  A merc had to deal with using the correct vision mode out of 3 different vision modes, spy grabs, spy stun gun, the all important camera smoke, spy slaps, where to place mines, etc.  If you notice those lists have a lot of distractions, but in this version the focus is back on the enemy spy or merc and not on traps or little range tricks the do.

From my experience, the learning curve is much less of a cliff than a manageable slope with a summit that's still a bit high, but still within reach.  Once you learn these basic features and their simpler functions, the tactics behind them are a lot more intuitive and easily learned.
8008  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Xbox 360) Splinter Cell Double Agent mulitplayer demo on Marketplace on: October 15, 2006, 10:07:13 AM
Chalk me up as someone who likes this a bit better than the sound meter handled it.  The sound meter required way too much work to avoid not making sounds, and sometimes it was impossible not to make sounds in some areas.  If you could read the sound meter, you could pretty much know where all spies were.  All a merc had to do was stand in one spot and listen for the sounds to match and run in guns blazing.

With the presence detector, the range of detection is very small, and the merc doesn't know in which direction you're in.  Plus you can still actually listen to the sounds that enemies make.

There's a lot of changes to the game that while at first are disorienting, I think they're for the better.  One big change is that the maps are a bit more open and play counts increased to 3v3.  Gameplay is more streamlined and dynamic.  No more mines and static defenses to slow the game down, it's just mercs vs the spies.  In PT and CT multiplayer, it would often devolve into war of the gadgets rather than a dynamic battle between spies and mercs.

Spy changes make them much less annoying, and much more difficult to take mercs on head to head.  But on the same note, it's easier for them to escape an encounter with the escape maneuvers and effectiveness of gadgets.  Some changes include:

No ranged stun attack for spies, instead they can use their hacking device to hack enemy mercs, which puts static on the merc's screen, partially disable his flashlight, and disable his vision modes.  It's very disorienting for the merc, but he can still move and attack (I think) and to stop it he just has to move out of the spy's line of sight, or kill the spy.  All the while, the spy can't do anything else other than hack the merc, making this hack attack move of a teamplay element.

Spies have much less health now than before, and a heashot still kills in one shot.

Each spy can have only one gadget.  Not sure if you can throw or launch a gadget, need to experiment.  However, gadgets are no longer locked, you can switch your gadget from a crate in your starting area, including refilling them.

To kill or knock out a merc, you have to get close to him, no more camera gas.  This is dangerous as mercs are now much tougher and agile, and their melee attacks aren't as slow or limited (less cooldown time on the berzerk 360 degree attack).  Also, the spy no longer has a melee attack, so you can't stun a merc by running right up to his face and slapping him like in previous games (where you could slap a merc which made him face you and stumble backwards, right into the hands of your waiting buddy, there was no defense against this for mercs).  You either catch him by surprise, hack him, or escape.  This really puts the emphasis on spies being sneaky instead of taking on mercs directly.

To make up for spies being weaker in all elements of combat, they now have escape maneuvers which are simply hella fun, not to mention fast and very effective.  Also maps in general are made with more open paths.  In previous MP modes, to get into a vent or into an opening in the cieling, you'd have to run up and try to line up your jump so that you grabbed on and then pull yourself up.  Now all you have to do is hit the RB button in range of the vent, open cieling, or open window and you'll do an appropriate maneuver like sliding into a small vent, doing an acrobatic jump straight up and into the vent, or leap through windows, even breaking the glass in the window if there is any.

Also, in general the spy movement is faster, things that were just deathtraps before are worth a shot now.  Like scaling fences for example, previously if you scaled a fence it made a ton of noise, took forever to reach the top, then at the top the spy had a long animation of him going over the top and then climbing down.  In DA, the climbing is quicker, and once you reach the top the spy simply does a somersault over the top and lands on his feel on the other side, not bothing with climbing down.  Climbing up ledges and boxes are also slightly faster, allowing you to evade faster or drop down on a merc.  However, since the mercs get a motion tracker all the time, this can be dangerous.

No more stealth suit or spy bullet.  They were nice, but they don't fit into the more dynamic gameplay of this new game.

I haven't seen if there are any cooperative moves, which were kinda nice, but mostly I found them tedious and dangerous. 

Mercs get some nice changes:

Motion tracking is now part of their default view, so if an enemy moves quickly anywhere in your view he's outlined in white.  Still need to test the range on this, though.  But it means if spies are trying to go gung ho on you, even in dark areas you can see them clear as day to kill them.  No more switching to a nearly useless motion tracking view.  This makes spies want to move slowly at all times even though the sound meter is no longer around.

They can rapel down off walkways to the ground, but not back up.  Meaning spies still have the advantage of vertical movement, but you're no longer SOL if a spy jumps over a railing.  However, mercs no longer get a jump.

The merc flashlight can be adjusted for wide angle flood lighting, or long range spot lighting by pressing up or down on the dpad.  Very nice when moving between outdoors and indoors fighting.

The default merc gadget is the drone.  I'm not sure if in the full version they'll have more, but the drone is quite nice.  Basically it's a remote control drone that you take over, leaving your body standing there.  It can fly to reach inaccessable areas, and is small enough to fit in vents.  It comes with its own short range flashlight.  When you meet a spy with your drone, you can self destruct the drone much like a grenade.  So basically they've folded the mine and camera network into one mobile gadget that you can use to kill a spy that's hiding just out of each.  The drone does have a very limited range, however, and the range is even less when in vents.

No idea if you have multiple gun types though.

As above, mercs get the presence detector, which is a nice little sonar-like device that pings enemy spies if they're anywhere within 10 meters.  There's three range bands and it'll let you know both by icon and frequency of beeping which band the spy is in.  However, unlike the previous sound meter, there's nothing saying which direction the spy is in.  Meaning that you need to move around to get an idea of where a spy is, and not simply read the sound meter to know where the spy is.  I don't think this kills the suspense of hunting down spies.  I think it might actually heighten it a bit.  Much like submarine warfare, the merc doesn't know exactly where the spy is other than that he's in a certain range.  The merc must move around to get an idea of the spy's position, which exposes him to attack, not does the merc know if the spy is above or below.  The merc also doesn't know how many spies there are, unlike the sound meter, which would show different patterns if two different spies were nearby, the presence detector only has one beep.  This makes is easier for two spies to ambush a merc.  However, if there are two mercs in a room communicating with each other, they can look at the map and their relative locations while calling out ranges to target and get a pretty good idea of where the spy is.  I do wish there was a compass in game so you could quickly call out compass directions.

Likewise the spy is in a situation where the merc knows he's there, but the merc doesn't know exactly where.  The spy knows that the merc must search the room, but he doesn't have to worry about some sound meter giving away his location if he moves about.  To attack the merc means getting up close with the merc, and the merc will know that the spy is right on top of him unless you manage to run in and get a perfect grab.  So, they basically took a page from submarine warfare to enhance the stealth based gameplay.  While it may seem like a worse change than the sound meter, I think the sound meter gave away too much information.  The combination of the presence detector and always on motion tracker does more to promote sneaky gameplay.  Not to mention that for spies, it was much too tedious (and thus not fun) to move in such a way as to not make noise on the sound meter.  This would get new players killed over and over, when they couldn't tell how the mercs where detecting them.

Mercs also now have a grenade launcher crosshair to accurately place grenades.  Simply hold down the left trigger instead of just pulling it to launch a grenade.  A series of rings will appear to show you the arc of the grenade, allowing you to accurately place grenades into vents and the like.  No more variable launch speeds.  Grenades and gadgets can be refilled too.  So while it's more difficult to pinpoint spies.

Mercs can sprint!  This'll let you actually move faster than spies for a time and level ground.  However, this also doubles as your charge and bash attack.  So if you hit a wall while sprinting you'll recoil a bit, however if you simply stop sprinting there's really no drawback, unlike previous games where you would slow down after sprinting.  If you hit a spy long the path of your sprint you'll knock him back and flat on his back.  In one game, a merc was able to catch a spy downloading from ledge from behind, he charged the spy and knocked him over the ledge, killing him.

The objective now takes longer to get, and then you must extract it too.  It's a combination of the hacking and extraction objectives from previous games.  However, it's still on a per spy basis.  There are four data terminals from which to download the data from.  But you don't actually need to be at the terminal to download, however it takes a lot more time to get the complete data package.  Then again, you can resume the download from any other terminal until you have a complete package.  So there's a nice dynamic in how you get the information.  Once you have the data, you have to reach the dropoff point.  On the merc side of this, you're no longer screwed if a spy leaves one objective at 99% completed.  So games no longer reach that point of no win situiation.  Since each objective is tracked on a per spy basis (how much they've downloaded) the objective is still to protect the four terminals but also to kill the spies to reset their download meters.  Also, unlike before none of the terminals are locked down after getting data from them, so there's no longer a situation where the spies have to take the last objective at two points right next to each other and heavy defended, nor do the mercs have to contend with defending two nearly complete objectives at opposite ends of the map.

One major problem I see is that the spy and merc models are a bit too similar in silhouette.  They're roughly the same height and build, with the same tight fitting clothing.  Since a lot of the game is played in the dark with high contrast lighitng, some new players will mistake mercs for spies at a distance.


My overall impressions for this new mp mode is great.  It's a bit faster and more dynamic than before, but more importantly it's a lot more accessable with the emphasis taken off gadget play and knowing little tricks, to moving around the map, getting close and personal (or trying not to).

Also, this demo shows only one of the MP modes.  If I recall there's a more team-death match oriented mode where you have both mercs and spies on the same team fighting against an opposite team of the same composition.  There was also word of some spy only modes where you compete or fight with other spies.  Oh, and the demo does include a co-op mode.
8009  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Xbox 360) Splinter Cell Double Agent mulitplayer demo on Marketplace on: October 15, 2006, 07:03:00 AM
TML, are you talking about the sound meter for mercs?

In the original, the mercs got a little sound indicator that would give you the loudness and general direction of any sounds that happen around you.  If the sound is strong enough, the merc's hud will beep.  Spies can overcome this by being quiet, and avoiding moves that generate noise.
8010  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 Online Service - more details on: October 14, 2006, 08:03:17 PM
More importantly, if they start choosing PS3 games over the same Xbox games for free multiplayer.  I suspect there'll be a lot of cross platform games that have MP, and if it's a choice between XBL and PS3online.  Assuming the PS3 online mode works, this could mean less revenue for the Xbox.

Also the whole issue of not being able to talk to friends or read messages while in game can be patched in, straight from Sony on that, and I know there'll be demand.  Frankly XBL had plenty of features patched in later.
8011  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Xbox 360) Splinter Cell Double Agent mulitplayer demo on Marketplace on: October 14, 2006, 08:00:24 PM
I'm a vet of Splinter Cell MP.  I'll be downloading this soon, and if anyone wants some training in how to play, just send me a message.  I'm Picturtle.
8012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: NBA Live 07 backlash (with funny YouTube glitch videos!) on: October 14, 2006, 01:18:13 PM
I think maybe EA was gambling on getting the exclusive NBA rights so that they could push this crap.
8013  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: North Korea has the bomb. on: October 09, 2006, 09:52:17 AM
That sad thing is that the world has pretty much moved past the whole nuclear annihilation thing.  Sure, there's still nuclear plans, but for the most part nobody wants to end the world by launching a nuke.

It means nothing now to have nukes, it just means that you're now on the target list to get nuked when the world comes to that.

This does mean, however, that it's now much more likely that some city in the world, probably in the US, will get nuked in some terror or sneak attack when these countries realize that nukes are costing them too much and start selling them to the highest bidder.
8014  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gears of War hands on on: October 05, 2006, 07:48:06 PM
Yep, I love cover based gameplay, run and gun games are fine by me, but I try not to miss an opportunity to try a game that uses cover.

The key here is that you're not alone.  The primary use of cover is on the Find, Fix, Flank, and Fire method of squad warfare.
8015  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anybody know of a decent work at home job? on: October 04, 2006, 09:57:30 AM
If you're a good artist, you can find work anywhere, and a lot of freelance work can be done at home.  It's part of the reason why I chose this career, eventually I wanted to be there for my kids.
8016  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: October 02, 2006, 01:38:13 PM
Good idea, I'll probably just write it up then let someone else with a spiffy rig take any appropriate screenshots.

I think in my AAR I'll break the game down in time so people get a better idea of how the game unfolds over time.  Still haven't found a good game for this, though.  I've been saddled with new players on both sides, or being grossly overmatched with a newbie on my team and two high ranking players on the other.

In my last game my idiot teammate human waved the victory point, and then simply would not stop sending wave after wave of infantry, even special infantry like MGs, to die at the victory point.  All the while all the high value resources points right next to his base were uncaptured.  He was completely silent throughout the game, then as an armada of tanks rolls into my base, he apologizes for being new.

I'm perfectly fine with new players, but you damn well make sure you tell your teammates, and you damn well make sure you ask questions.  If you do so, I'm more than happy to train you, even if I lose.  But otherwise, I have no sympathy for you.
8017  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: October 02, 2006, 11:48:59 AM
Already added.  smile

I've been sneaking in some games late at night after classes and work is done.  I've been waiting for a really good game to record and then write an AAR about.  Should be interesting, I'll see about including why I made such tactical choices.  Unfortunately, I don't have that great of a PC so the screenshots will be ugly.
8018  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Classic Battletech on: October 02, 2006, 12:07:35 AM
Just so you know, there's a lot of new prepainted, but not random collectable games coming out.  Look for Rackham's AT-43 for mech action.  Albiet, it's an infantry with walkers combat game, but at least you know what you get in the box, and the rules are stable.
8019  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gothic 3 an unplayable, bug ridden, mess on: October 01, 2006, 11:24:02 AM
Because the reviewers were paid off or stupid.

I really believe that games released buggy should be reviewed as buggy and the scores should reflect that.  Otherwise, all that does is allow publishers to keep putting out buggy games.
8020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: DOMINIONS 3 IS SHIPPING on: October 01, 2006, 04:35:23 AM
Unless the reviews say dramatically improved interface that even casual gamers cane play, I'm not buying.
8021  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Reminder: Battlestar Galactica Season 2.5 DVD to be released Tuesday on: September 27, 2006, 10:07:50 PM
Well, ad revenue on these shows is kinda lower since the tv audience isn't as high as other shows.  They have to make it up in DVD sales, which their audiences are more likely to buy.
8022  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 27, 2006, 08:50:09 PM
With the axis, you should always wait to attack until you have a good combined arms force.  With the allies, their units can pull so many roles that they can get by with a less diverse force and still handle many threats.

As for tanks, always have infantry backing them up, and a strike of some sort to call down on enemy AT.  It can help to deter enemy infantry from attacking your tanks if you upgrade them to level 2 veterancy so that they get the top machinegunner.
8023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 27, 2006, 09:06:05 AM
Actually, Axis are easier to build bases for because their progression through the tiers is linear.  They can skip buildings, but they still have to upgrade their HQ to the next battle level.

Also, each one of their buildings has a wide variety of units to build, allowing for more combined arms.  Allies have to rely on fewer units, but more abilities per unit.  I suppose allies are more streamlined in unit choice, but not quite in building/tech choice.

Axis units do gain veterancy on its own like any other unit, but they seem to gain it more slowly to make up for the fact that you can buy them veterancy.

It's important to think of axis armor not as superior in nature, but simply by the fact that they have access to heavy and super heavy tanks as a default unit.  Whereas the Allied heavies are only available with armor.  Allied AT can still pick apart axis tanks very quickly.

My main strategy is to build the wehrmacht quarters asap and get an MG team out.  It's important to get the MT team out and then a volks squad after that. For a third unit choose either another volks, sniper, or motorcycle.  Maybe build a fourth combat unit, but by then you should have enough fuel to upgrade your HQ to level 2, skirmish phase I think.  This'll give you access to flamethrowers and wirecutters for engineers, and the deadly mp44 upgrade for the volks.  It'll also make the krieg barracks available, but I usually wait to build that unless I think there's tanks or vehicles coming.

Using your upgraded volks, engineers, and combined arms from other units available from the werhmacht quarters you can still reasonably fight off many attacks while you decide whether to build a krieg barracks or go up another level to sturm armory.  If you suspect at all that you enemy is teching to vehicles or tanks, you still have two options, go sturm and get stugs to deal with vehicles, or get the wehrmacht and use AT guns and panzershrek equipped grenediers to deal with vehicles.
8024  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: F.E.A.R. Demo on Marketplace on: September 27, 2006, 03:17:17 AM
Well, if you think about it, HL2 had even worse combat, but they made up for it with great pacing, interesting enemies and setting, and carefully planned set piece battles that made things feel different.  FEAR just puts you out there and every single combat starts the same with AI yelling out some phrase that gives away their position.

FEAR also had the problem of not taking advantage of the new techniques of character interaction found in other games.  So, while you had a cast of interesting characters, they either died or all you really saw of them were little segments before they sent you off alone for some reason.

They need to get a clue from HL2 episode 1.
8025  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 games to cost $75 to $85 bucks?? on: September 26, 2006, 10:29:09 AM
Wow, it sure didn't take long for people to throw around the word fanboy.  GT may start becoming more like OO with PS3 topics.
8026  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 26, 2006, 12:25:20 AM
CoH is still another RTS at heart, however it has a lot more tactical nuances.  Instead of simply building the biggest mob you can, you're encouraged to use your troops tactically.  Position, cover, timing, range, suppression, and many other factors affect how a battle will go and

I played BFME 1 and it was more of the same dressed up as something new.  Sure it had units in little groups of infantry, but otherwise it was build up and charge.

In CoH, there's been many a time that I've fought off a superior force, both in number and quality with just a handful of units because I used better tactics.  And this doesn't mean I did little micromanagement tricks that online RTS games are known for, instead I had my troops in cover, overlapping fire sectors, suppressing fire on the infantry, mortars to kill, snipers and jeeps to kill enemy snipers, and AT guns in the rear to kill vehicles.  I could move my troops to engage targets in different areas

However, let me reiterate that the game is still an RTS at its heart, you'll still have to build new units steadily and know how to manage a base and resources to win.  But, you can repel or even kill off a lot of attacks with the right tactics, and the same goes for when you're on the attack.  Good use of support can drive an enemy away from a position with just a few units. 

Then again, this does mean that you really need to manage the battles more instead of constantly playing with the base like other rts games.  Thankfully, there are some interface features that help you keep your eyes on the battlefield instead of hopping back to base all the time.  There's the building hotkeys, f1-f5 selects the appropriate building, the tactical map is a great feature that basically zooms your minimap to fill the entire screen, showing units, unit types, spotted enemy units.
8027  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 25, 2006, 03:31:14 AM
They changed it a bit.  Now it takes more than one flakpanzer to down a plane before it completes its objective.  Also, planes come in from any angle you want, so I can always find someplace I can attack.  Flakpanzes are also much more vulnerable to artillery fire now, like in my last game where any time my opponent clustered his flakpanzers they'd take howitzer fire.

88s aren't much of a threat to planes unless they happen to be aiming in the right direction.  Otherwise they're too slow to track the plane before it delivers its payload.

Scout planes are much harder to shoot down, and overall the airborne strike abilities are affordable and very precise.

That said, it is still annoying whem my stuff gets shot down.  I still think it's a bad idea to allow the axis to completely neutralize some allied abilities, even though they have quite a lot of their own toys already, and their strikes are some of the best in the game.
8028  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 25, 2006, 02:42:52 AM
Been working with Calvin and Whispa.  I've also been learning airborne.

One nasty tactic I've been using with an infantry teammate is to wait until he has an arty strike ready, then fly over the enemy base and let him drop it on the axis krieg barracks.  The krieg barracks is a large and structurally weak building.  One arty strike is enough to destroy it most of the time.  Then, if I have extra munition, I do a strafing run to kill any infantry he has.

Also, if I see the enemy retreat a lot of infantry, I wait a little bit then scout plane the enemy base, while the enemy infantry are clustered around the hq I do a strafing run and that usually finishes off a large number of them.
8029  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 games to cost $75 to $85 bucks?? on: September 24, 2006, 09:17:27 PM
Then it sounds like that article was skewed then.

As above, some japanese titles are already priced as such but the american game is only $50-60.  Also, I heard the yen had fallen a bit as of late so the conversion would be off by even more.
8030  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 games to cost $75 to $85 bucks?? on: September 24, 2006, 09:02:31 PM
All release titles have been confirmed to cost $60, same as the 360.  Knightshade, I really expected more of you than this.

Simply put, it's all the rave nowadays to bash on the PS3 by overemphasizing little rumors that come from "well known sources" or "multiple information sources".
8031  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Infant Drowns in Mother's Vomit! on: September 24, 2006, 09:32:39 AM
It was both her, and the situation.  Jeez guys, it's rarely ever just one thing.  This world is rarely filled with absolutes.  I mean even now they're finding the speed of light changes in rare circumstances.
8032  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Will Console Microtransactions Hurt Gaming? on: September 24, 2006, 09:11:35 AM
The main thing is, they're using microtransactions as simple money grubbing schemes by withholding content to release later.

Instead, they could have been exploring some more in depth uses of microtransactions.

This ties in somewhat with a small part of the game industry trying out episodic gaming.
8033  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 23, 2006, 10:27:35 AM
Turtling the in the traditional sense isn't possible in CoH.  Instead, you can have a very effective defense in a particular area, but only if you have mobile defenders alongside fixed defenses.  Also, the only fixed anti tank defense is the 88, so to defend against tanks, which can basically ignore many fixed defenses.

It's also a matter of choosing where to defend, and where your opponent actually lets you turtle up.

In my last game with Calvin and ThinJ, we played against three players who really, and I mean really, turtled up.  They had tank traps a plenty, bunkers, mines, 88s, etc...  However, they built this behind the center line of the map where most of the high value resources are.  They never pushed forward, and all the while we had captured and secured the middle ground high value resources.  So while they were just beginning to build their tank factories in preparation for a big tank rush, we already had tanks and were quickly pushing in on their lines.  My airborne took out the 88s and other turrets, and my tanks dealt with the bunkers.

I think they planned to use all those defenses to hold us off long enough to make a swarm of axis tanks and hit our base.  The problem was we had the majority of fuel and munitions.  Anything they sent at us would be killed by our tanks or picked off by airstrikes.
8034  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Speaking of Neverwinter Nights 2... on: September 23, 2006, 10:23:05 AM
That's the problem with a game that is meant to be generic.  Face is, D&D is generic, they're actually following the D&D art style to a T.
8035  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Spaceballs: The Cartoon series? on: September 22, 2006, 09:02:58 AM
Actually, I was hoping G4 would make a good transition into a normal cable network that happened to have some good game related shows alongside normal TV shows.

I don't think they should grab a bunch of syndicated old stuff to replay, but this is a step in the right direction.
8036  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NSFW Myth Busters:Kari Byron NSFW!!! on: September 22, 2006, 09:01:21 AM
2 possible explanations.

They reversed her shirt to make her boobs stick out more against the flat back cloth.

Or it's more likely her microphone.  slywink
8037  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 22, 2006, 08:58:48 AM
When you tell an infantry unit to retreat, they get a speed and defense boost, and run back to that player's HQ.  Basically it's a way to save your infantry if they're in big trouble, as it's cheaper to reinforce than to buy a whole new unit.

As for your troops retreating without your control.  The Axis Terror doctrine has an ability called Propoganda war that forces any units caught within a small radius to retreat.  To counteract this, don't move units in tight groups (never a good idea), and when capturing a point, have only one unit capture the point with another a small ways away in cover.  If he hits your capturing unit with propaganda war, you can move up the second unit to capture the point.
8038  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 22, 2006, 05:43:11 AM
No.  Originally you could, but the devs found that it was just too easy for it to be exploited, especially with the defense and speed bonus you get from retreating.  Having your troops run all the way back to HQ and having to walk back is one of the balancing features for basically letting your infantry get away free from hopeless situations.

Don't underestimate the power of an APC without upgrades.  Early on if the main problem you're facing are MGs pinning your infantry, run them past those defenders in an APC.  As those defenders turn around to deal with the APC, you can move up the main attack force.  Heck, you can bring along some engineers to demo charge any bunkers in the way too.
8039  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Impressions on: September 21, 2006, 06:06:28 PM
It's a hit or miss with the tweaked drivers. They'll make some games run better, but not others.  They can also help deal with compatability issues with official drivers.  But, if you don't have any such issues, it's best to stick with original drivers.

Just so you know, allied riflemen cost only 22 points to reinforce, that's actually half their build cost.  At 270 for a 6 man squad, to reinforce should cost 45 points at 22 points, you can use them to soak losses with little fear.  That makes them the best unit to take over dropped weaponry.  With the allies, I've taken to always having a halftrack somewhere near the front so I can reinforce my infantry on the go.  As they pickup new weapons, I put them in places to cover me if I have to retreat.  Just make sure to retreat your infantry before they're all killed off.  I suppose the low riflemen reinforcement cost is to offset the fact that they have to get their experience upgrades the old fashioned way.  Likewise, if you're axis, make sure you finish off those riflemen squads or you'll be seeing them again and again.

I've been using armored cars a lot more since I usually fight hard for fuel points.  If there's a high value fuel point near your base at the start of the map, go ahead and put an obervation post on it to get your fuel incoming started early.  It may cost you some territory farther up as you have fewer early units to take territory, but you can get out armored cars pretty quickly, and those can last a while if you push hard with them.  Just make sure you get the 50cal upgrade for them so they can suppress enemy infantry, otherwise you risk getting killed by panzershreks or sticky bombs.
8040  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock video up on: September 21, 2006, 06:02:26 PM
To be fair, they can't show you everything in the game.  Not to mention they have a long way to go before release day.

It's enough for me that they have a vision for this game and so far they have pulled it off.  The core gameplay of Bioshock, from those videos, looks solid so originality isn't too much a concern.

Besides, the game has a lot of originality in terms of setting and story.
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