Author Archive: DizzahGee
Everyone has that friend. You know the one: that person in your group that starts groaning the moment you suggest everyone grab a controller and do some fragging in Halo or Counterstrike. They just don’t get it. They hate the idea of losing and they know that playing against you and your friends is going to result in a lot of deaths. They don’t understand the adrenaline rush of a massive multiplayer brawl, desperately seeking the right position to attack, and the joy of outwitting your opponent to have someone come up from behind you and start your respawn timer again.
I’ve been that person. Ask Grethade, any suggestion that we should play Halo together was responded to with a sound “That’s not my thing, maybe next time”. I abhorred the concept. What’s interesting about it? What do I get out of the experience? Why would I want to play something that I will lose soundly in for months while I learn how to play?
It takes a lot to break out of that. That friend of yours could be a future FPSer, and stick just as well as the rest of your clan if given the time and the method. And the fact is, you love having them over at the LAN and you just want to see them enjoy their time as much as you are. There is hope! The following steps of game suggestions just might get you there – I know they helped me. And if they don’t? Well, they’re all good games, and you can certainly enjoy them on your own too. Perhaps even go the other way around and show your friends that you can enjoy a good RPG too!
1. Fallout – The Fallout series is extremely well known for its witty antics, great turn based play, and open environment. It’s a natural transition for anyone who respects the Elder Scrolls series or open world RPGs in general. The stats are obvious and apparent. The structure is familiar. And yet at the same time, I can’t help but want to delve in more about the equipment. Why does each weapon act differently? What’s the purpose all of these different classes? Even the gamer who doesn’t know the difference between a pistol, a revolver, and a sniper can get a solid understanding and enjoy something that’s full of wit throughout the game
2. Borderlands – The transition from Fallout to Borderlands is all about performing actions in real time and manual shooting. You liked the style of Fallout, and you want more. Borderlands takes the level of ridiculousness of weapons to another level. The loot pinata is the best search for the right weapon experience since Diablo 2, which will be a nice reminder of what’s there. While looking at the numbers, players get a feel that the pure stats are not the only important part of a weapon and what they do. Additionally, while Borderlands requires aim, which is a new concept, it tends to be rather generous and not punish the player too much, even if they should not succeed.
3. Left 4 Dead / Zombies – You’ve found the Cache. You’ve bested Handsome Jack. You’ve enjoyed the lootfest of Borderlands and you now yearn for something with a little bit more consistency. This is where Zombies and Left 4 Dead really comes in. The opponents are still NPCs, but the game thrives on multiplayer with friends. You learn how to use the maps to your advantage. You know which weapons you want to use, when and master what seem insurmountable odds… and you lose. A lot. The biggest benefit to survival zombie games is that it makes the roleplayer understand that death is a part of the game, and it that shouldn’t be terrified. It’s just another part of the game, and the challenge of trying to survive makes the game more enjoyable. Hearken to the Buddhist leanings of the game. Help them embrace it. They’re close to bridging the gap.
4. Your FPS of choice. This works best in situations like Black Ops 2, where you utilize the PVE Zombies game to help the transition. ”You already have the game playing Zombies with me, so let’s try out the other stuff on the disc.” The campaign is nice, and it’s there, but don’t let it be a crutch to what you know is the true joy of the game – multiplayer. Party games like Gun Game and One in the Chamber help the player feel like they’re not coming in brand new (most of these games are designed to be progressively more difficult when getting close to completing the objective), and so some good shots will be had. Additionally, you’ve already taught your friend to be accustomed to new weapons, learning how they work in the game, and how to best position their advantages on maps. Congratulations, they are now ready to FPS proper.
It may take time, hard work, and patience (drained out of us by our instant queues in our games),but the efforts are worth the reward when your friend starts showing you the sick triple kill they recorded the other day, and they have the sniping position that makes your reckless abandon seem like no big deal in team deathmatch. And besides that, all of these games are a blast and are worth your time, even if you’ve got nobody you are looking to convert.
What was your first FPS experience like? What did you play before? How have you brought other people into enjoying the genre? Let us know in the comments – perhaps you will help others join the flock of people who can’t get enough K/D ratio.
I usually have trouble feeling that the new generations of Pokemon are creative and add more to the series, and for those who are familiar with the original Red/Blue/Yellow series, we’ve seen many iterations. In fact, I wouldn’t be half as excited if it weren’t for one of the new legendary Pokemon announced: Xerneas.
Though it may just be that I appreciate the homage to Princess Mononoke – or the legend behind the anime sensation.
Like the previous generations of Pokemon, this game will introduce new creatures, throw back to the familiar, and allow you to explore a new adventure with some pretty impressive graphic fidelity from the 3DS console. While I don’t think Pokemon in its own is enough to warrant a new console purchase, some of the other games on the 3DS combined with this make it a tempting choice.
Good news is if you’re looking for a 3DS to play this game, you’ve got plenty of time to save up: Pokemon X and Y will release internationally in October 2013. Until then, we’ll just continue to get teased by the Nintendo trailer:
I’d love to pull out some rose-tinted glasses and say that everything is fine with the state of Starcraft 2. With the recent League of Legends World Championship drawing over 100,000 views from online streaming alone, perhaps there is reason that writers from within Starcraft’s professional ranks and journalists from Forbes have stepped up to speak their concerns about the game. Starcraft 2 has seen a slow, but steady increase in viewership as an eSport. Now that League of Legends proved itself to be the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game of choice, growth in interest in the game and sport spiked to an all time high. Blizzard’s $250,000 prize pool for their World Championship in November seems like a pittance next to Riot’s cool two million. With this in mind, has Starcraft 2 lost its place in the eSports space?
The criticisms levied against Starcraft come from a few major concerns. People interested in the eSports industry see League of Legends as a risk to future investment in the Starcraft 2 competitive scene. Others fear that the lack of casual play in Starcraft makes League of Legends more accessible, and this will cause a lack of interest in the game as a whole. Additionally, there are those concerned that the pros are switching to competitors like League of Legends looking for a new level of competition when Starcraft 2’s expansion, Heart of the Swarm, seems to be more of a patch than a redevelopment of the game.
Heart of the Swarm is hitting full beta mode, and with it we are now getting a good look at the new design for the game. It’s too soon to tell where the metagame will be, but we can take a guess where multiplayer is set to go with the new units. Each week, I will invite you to take a closer look at a new unit in the Heart of the Swarm beta and keep you up to date on the changes as the Starcraft 2 development team tweaks the balance.
Our first review is perhaps the first you’ll see on the field in a match with a Protoss: the Mothership Core. The future of the Mothership in Starcraft 2 was tenuous for a large time of pre-beta. However, as the only viable answer for PvZ endgame and the only hero unit in multiplayer, many fans dissented against removing it. Instead of taking the ultimate ship off of the playing field, Blizzard made it even more critical to the Protoss strategy.
Blizzard made an announcement on their Battle.net forums earlier this week, that they’re now offering the full Remote Auction House, Guild Chat, and Armory functions to their World of Warcraft customers free of charge. When it first came out, I was happy to spend my three dollars a month to keep in touch with my guild (Let’s face it, being a Guild Master is a huge time investment, and any time to make that more efficient will save your work and personal life). The game, however, is not what it used to be – Activision quarterly financial reports continue to show a steady decline to the once 12 million subscriber strong MMO, and the company is looking for the most effective way possible to retain their customers and keep them coming for more. Mists of Pandaria on its own isn’t inspiring some customers, and so Blizzard has taken a cut on its application to try to change the story. How effective will it be? I’m not confident it will have much effect.
The social community of World of Warcraft is what first drew me to the MMO years back. Guilds were a resource of knowledge, of people willing to run instances with you, who drove you to do your best and stay out of the fire. These people became our friends, and we developed strong relationships, many of which have lived through the waxing and waning of the game. By having people you cared about in the game, Blizzard (perhaps not as consciously as I previously anticipated) increased the need to stay in WoW and keep in touch with your buddies.
With the development of LFG (Looking for Group) and LFR (Looking for Raid), guilds have evolved. Save for the most hardcore, guilds are far less about finding a raiding group and more about spending time with people who are already your friends. The Mobile Guild Chat application was absolutely key when I was running my own guild – I wanted to catch up with people, see what was going on, and try to ensure that the proper raid preparations were made before things began. Now that I have transitioned from WoW, those people are not in the guild anymore. The only people I have interest in talking to in WoW are those who have stuck with me, and I already communicate with them through a variety of other means. I can’t help but feel like giving free access to the Mobile Armory is just a case of too little, too late – especially given that many guilds have decided to complete their run at the end of Cataclysm.
The question is, is this an added value enough to bring the dying social community of World of Warcraft back and regain customers, or is this simply a matter of offering a free service that too few people were paying for in the first place?
Square Enix has definitely impressed me with this game already, and this is just the website.
The World Ends With You (TWEWY for the acronym-happy) was without a doubt my favorite game on the DS. Its use of a modern setting while remaining a fantasy game, brilliantly unique mechanics, and engaging storyline were a gem in the sea of Cooking Mamas of the Nintendo DS universe (Sorry for people who are a fan of Cooking Mama, but it’s just not my style). The developers at Square Enix and Jupiter did a fantastic job in the production of the game, and it proved to be a great project away from Tetsuya Nomura’s most well-known Kingdom Hearts series. Did I mention that the soundtrack for TWEWY was refreshingly modern and catchy like nobody’s business?
The page for the sequel proves that the marketing department certainly hasn’t forgotten. Over the last couple of days, this website makes very little reference to this new game’s predecessor, except for the music playing in the background. Each day, the music has added different instrument lines, and today the trumpets add the most memorable lick of TWEWY’s introduction. There’s no doubt that this is a sequel, but will we see our teenage protagonist Neku Sakuraba and friends in Shibuya District for another go, or will there be an all-new lineup to experience the underground of the new metropolis?
There may be many questions ahead, but I’ll throw writer’s objectivity out the door when this new game comes out and play it as soon as I can, even if it means getting a new console. I’m sure a more objective review will be available after my voracious playthrough immediately after release.
For those experienced on the Starcraft 2 ladder, Antiga Shipyard is perhaps one of the most familiar maps in the ladder rotation. Since Season 3, players have played millions of games on the map, and it has stood the trials of time where other maps have failed. Pro tournament groups such as GSL, MLG, and IPL have all utilized this map in their play, and I suspect it is one that will continue to be seen in play for time to come. Antiga Shipyard is historically a strong map for Terran players based off of a few key features that make the map unique, but every race has a solid way to play. As a Terran, there are a few key things to think about when you spawn on this map against any opponent. Conscious awareness of the map will help you take advantage of the matchup and net you more games.
1. Your opponent’s spawn location changes the game.
Forced cross positions are standard in professional tournaments with good reason: several strategies benefit significantly from spawn locations. The opponent placed clockwise not only will have to face an extremely short distance time for air attacks from the opponent’s main, but also has a higher risk of the third base being destroyed by ground forces having closer access to the destructible rocks. This is especially notable when the Protoss gains the advantage: With a pylon placed in the corner of their main, a Protoss player can easily warp in an army but a few meters away from the destructible rocks, and additionally reinforce by walking down Colossi through the double jump path connecting the main to the center of the map. The good news is, Terran have several ways to answer this concern, even in a macro game, as long as they are adequately prepared. When you get the positional advantage, a solid medivac drop or cloaked banshee is all it takes to destroy an ill-defended third and net a solid economic edge towards the end game.
2. Antiga Shipyard provides one of the most defensive main and natural base locations.
One of the reasons Antiga Shipyard has stayed in the rotation for as long as it has is its natural tendency to promote long-game play, even in ladder play when competitors will be tempted to all-in for quick games. Home base starts on a third-level height on the map with only two easily defendable entrances, and as such it is incredibly difficult to access the main by land. Early aggression to the main will only take place at the small ramp extending to your natural, or by reapers through the jump point near the center of the map. The top of this section is hidden by steam vents, so make sure to place an early supply depot or your first marine within the shrouded area if you suspect an early reaper scout or harass. With a little bit of vision and a scout to make sure you won’t be cheesed, it may be safe to perform a strategy as greedy as 1 Barracks to expansion. The natural also provides a ramp (albeit wider), and it is a comfortable place to build a supply depot wall to defend against zergling counters throughout the game. Especially in TvZ, the terran player does extremely well to get the second command center up as soon as possible and builds units with a larger midgame economy in mind.
3. Antiga’s third base is easy to protect as well, with a few caveats.
Early thirds in Antiga Shipyard are also not uncommon, and can create a very strong advantage when handled appropriately. The third is deceptively difficult to defend with your army: You’ll want to defend your natural with your army, and your ramp is a safe place to hold your units. However, when the destructible rocks break near the third, an unprepared player will have to go into damage control mode. However, placing the army on the ground between the natural and third is not ideal either, as you lose the vision advantage of the ramp. There is no ideal way to resolve this, but one solution is to build your third set of buildings to choke off the position between the rocks and your command center. At that point, your opponent must either decide to rip through the barracks and risk a well-prepared army positioned properly to defend the third, or attempt a break-in through the ramps. Additionally, a couple of well-placed siege tanks can effectively protect attacks to your main and third simultaneously.
If you’re at a positional disadvantage, know that your opponent will be tempted to use air units to attack your main; don’t let them get the pleasure. Preempt with a missile tower, and if you have a strong feeling the air attack will be more than a simple harassment, prepare with plenty of marines waiting for them on the third – it’s easy enough to transfer them to the natural later, and the third will almost always be the location of choice.
4. Terran gain all power in the game when they have control of the Xel’Naga tower.
In any map, awareness is key, and Xel’Naga tower is the most cost-effective way to gain the requisite vision to make your opponent’s attacks look silly. Antiga Shipyard takes it a step further for Terran by giving them a perfect location to house their army and secure and easy fourth base. With control of Xel’Naga, there is no way a ground army can walk past your own – it’s practically impossible in the game for an army to walk around the center effectively enough to avoid vision. Additionally, because the tower is placed at the top of a ramp, siege tanks may be redeployed on top of the ramp for an easily secured fourth base. Find yourself in a terribly long game? By having the Xel’Naga tower, you can also very easily expand to any of the other locations on the map and continue even after your third has been mined out – With any luck, you won’t ever have to get to that point, though! Just remember to provide additional anti-air protection to your main and third when the fourth is secured… the last thing you want is a good drop tearing apart your hard work from the inside.
Overall, this is definitely a great map for Terrans and Protoss to keep in their ladder pool season after season. Zerg have enough disadvantages in the location to consider a ban, but given its longevity, it may be better to learn it and save the ban for newer maps that may give a harder time to our insectoid friends. Have a stategy for this map that you use in your ladder play? Please let us know in the comments!
Talk about a cool introduction to the League! Diana, Scorn of the Moon, has perhaps the best login music to League of Legends I have heard in a while. Don’t believe me? Enable that login music again and check it out. They didn’t just stop there: Diana is a welcome addition to many five-man groups. She performs as an absolute monster at ganking and has amazing skills in the jungle. However, Diana is perhaps not as horribly overpowered as Zyra, who recently found herself on the nerf end of a hotfix after she was too good at, well, everything. How does Diana do it? And if you’re on the opposite side of her, how can you stop her?