October 01, 2014, 09:07:15 AM *
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 on: Today at 04:21:39 AM 
Started by wonderpug - Last post by Clanwolfer
Friggin' hell, the feedback from Oculus Rift dev kit folks is awesome - they updated the underlying SDK from an old one to the newest available, and added a lot of things that smooth out the VR experience quite a bit.

Reeeeeeally hoping that my large backlog of other items can help me hold off on this until retail release...

 on: Today at 04:07:42 AM 
Started by Ridah - Last post by Teggy
The Wii U looks to be one the biggest flops of all time.

 on: Today at 04:04:07 AM 
Started by forgeforsaken - Last post by Clanwolfer
So far, awfully happy with this one. Graphics are solid, and the road trips are relaxed enough that you can really check out the scenery (which is absolutely spectacular in some cases).

I don't think it's too stingy with credits if you have the non-VIP version, but then, I'm playing as a cheapskate - 16 levels and 4.5 championships in, and I have yet to spend a single credit on anything (thanks to using my starter car and the Ferrari you get at the start for two championships each, and getting a lucky roll on the level-up roulette wheel to win a sweet Nissan Skyline that I've also been using. I have half a million banked, and it looks like the championships are identical enough that I'll be able to keep using these cars long enough to save up for damn near any garage I'd like. I'll start spending like a madman at some point, but right now I'm curious how far I can get with just the cars I win and find. I'm not exactly suffering for variety at the moment, given that the bucket list missions and the train/plane races give you plenty of fast toys to play with.

The Pokemon Snap mini-game is neat but I suspect it won't have a ton in the way of legs, given that a just few hours of play in I'm 43 cars into the 100 (using the perk that highlights un-snapped cars). Worst-case, it helps me build up the bank to actually afford a few of the cars I'd like.

I like the controls so far, for the most part - the supercars are a bit twitchy, but then, when you can just baaaarely keep one under control, it really clicks. The BMW I picked to start feels awfully floaty and I have way more issues with it than any other car so far - the winner of my bunch has to be the Skyline, which sticks to the road like nobody's business but has a nice tight feeling offroad.

So far the pacing of progression is great, and mixing things up as much as it does is pretty nice, between hunting down billboards, doing head-to-head races, championships, and smashing the XP and fast travel signs. I'm actually starting to wonder how much of the game is rigged to have you just barely sliding by missions, because I've won a few things by the skin of my teeth (the plane one by less than a tenth of a second, the train one by 1.5 seconds, and a couple of the skills challenges I've nailed my last skill in the last second or two).

 on: Today at 04:02:32 AM 
Started by naednek - Last post by Teggy

Quote from: leo8877 on September 30, 2014, 06:11:33 PM

Quote from: ATB on September 30, 2014, 05:36:04 PM

FCC votes to abolish NFL blackout rule.  I think this is a great thing.

Does this mean they have to comply immediately?

On NPR they said they are still free to make deals with teams/broadcasters locally so it may just be put back in place that way. It's just not enforceable at the Federal level.

 on: Today at 03:54:57 AM 
Started by CeeKay - Last post by Teggy
Is there a
Spoiler for Hiden:
waiting back there to become a captain in Sauron's army? That might make things interesting.

Game is fun so far, but I hope there is some actual level design in there akin to the tombs in AC Brotherhood or the missions in Arkham City. If it's all "go to place in open world and kill stuff" I'll be kind of bummed.

 on: Today at 03:49:48 AM 
Started by CeeKay - Last post by YellowKing
My impressions from 3 hours of play:

They definitely ripped off both Assassin's Creed (climbing, stealth take downs from bushes, climbing towers to unlock areas) and the Arkham series (combat, upgrades, a "heightened awareness mode"). However, they equaled if not improved upon those mechanics.

The game is VERY combat-centric, so it's fortunate the fighting feels so good. Countering is instant, and you'll never have to wait for a previous animation to finish before you can counter. I can't tell you enough how much I love that, as it's always been a gripe of mine in these types of combat engines. You feel like a kick-ass warrior as you stroll confidently into camp taking on 5 or 6 orcs at a time right from the get-go - however, the game is also quick to remind you how vulnerable you are. Before long you'll end up attracting the attention of too many captains, or slip up some counters from being outnumbered, and you'll realize that you can only take a handful of hits before going down. It's an amazing balance between feeling powerful while being acutely aware of your limitations.

As leo pointed out, the game relies on you to do some story missions early on to really explain the mechanics. If you choose to ignore this and do your own thing (which is certainly a viable option), then just be prepared to be plopped down into a world full of stuff to do almost immediately. Unlike many open world games that ease you into areas little by little, you have a pretty large area in which you can roam right from the start.

The Nemesis system is really neat, and you do get a sense that the Uruk leaders are relative bad-asses among their "people." I really liked the Intel system which requires you to seek out Intel in the form of informants you beat up and interrogate or plans you find lying around. This Intel can be used to find the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the captains, which you can then use to kill them quicker.

As far as customizing your character, you have the ability to both power up your weapons with runes, or power yourself up with ability points. You can also purchase traits (not sure what they are called in game) that boost health or unlock new rune slots. While the upgrade paths are fairly limited and linear, the fact that there is so much "stuff" to unlock and upgrade really gives you a sense of purpose when killing enemies. The UI provides constant feedback on XP and currency gains, so you always feel like you're making progress.

One other thing I really appreciated is how well the appendix is laid out. Nothing drives me more crazy than a badly implemented catalog or appendix in which you can't tell what entries are new, or which ones have already been read. This game does a great job of showing you not only what you've read and haven't read, but how many entries you have left to discover. Entries are detailed but not overly long, and I enjoyed reading them and fleshing out the backstory and Tolkien lore.

If you don't like the Ubisoft: The Game structure (i.e. open world with main missions/side missions/collectibles), then this may not be your cup of tea - it contains a lot of those elements. However, it's so well implemented and has so many little features that have not been seen before that I think if you have even the slightest interest in that type of game then you should give it a chance.

Ultimately I think it's the most mature and "adult" Lord of the Rings games we've seen to date. It's violent, it's dark, it's combat-heavy, and it doesn't hold your hand. If you want to march into a camp and take on three captains above your level at the same time, it's not going to stop you. It feels like a game made for people who have had experience with open world games and want something that kicks things up a notch. In terms of a "game features tailor-made for YellowKing list" this one marks off a LOT of checkboxes.

Just remember:

This ain't The Hobbit cartoon.

This ain't Gandalf sitting around blowing smoke rings.

This is a bad-ass undead ranger fucking shit up deep in the heart of Mordor. If you're ready to put down your Legolas dolls, put on your big boy pants, and go toe to toe with Sauron's black army, then come on.

 on: Today at 03:46:27 AM 
Started by Eco-Logic - Last post by Turtle
Won't be that big of a problem unless he escapes and jumps into a small water reservoir or something. The reason why it's so bad over in Africa is a lot of other issues related to hygiene.

 on: Today at 03:42:44 AM 
Started by EngineNo9 - Last post by Teggy
I had heard they were releasing 9 and it was a free upgrade if you have 8. Or is that 10 now?

 on: Today at 03:25:35 AM 
Started by Ridah - Last post by Canuck
Interesting to see how neck and neck things were last gen. For all the talk about how the Wii owned last gen, they didn't really blow away the competition the way the PS and PS2 did.

 on: Today at 03:22:22 AM 
Started by EngineNo9 - Last post by Canuck
I get skipping 9. In German,  "nine" sounds like "no". In Japan, 9 is an unlucky number and finally, if you're moving away from large updates every 4 years to Apple's model of continually updating the same OS do you really want to be stuck on 9 or would you rather have a nice round number like 10?

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