Monday, July 30, 2012

Shootmania - Closed Beta Impressions

It seems like games with sandbox features and user generated content are becoming increasingly popular this generation, with such titles like Minecraft kicking off the trend. However, one developer in particular has been making games focused on user generated content BEFORE it was cool: Nadeo, a France based game developer better known for their ever expanding Trackmania series is now looking to give their same brand of D-I-Y with the FPS genre.

Shootmania is a multiplayer online first person shooter where players can jump, run and shoot in a futuristic virtual world, on several different maps and modes created by the players. It also features several tools for map creation, easy/intuitive gameplay and matchmaking features.

The most interesting premise behind Shootmania is that Nadeo plans to promote the game as an E-sport. Personally, I would have to say that trying to create a new IP with the full intention of making it a competitive E-sport is fairly risky. Only a few competitive video games have ever been e-sports, as those games managed to evolve with deep metagames over time as players discovered and developed play styles and strategies over time, which begs me to ask if Shootmania has enough going for it consider having such a competitive scene.

The closed beta was currently available only to a few early registered users and pre-order members, but I was lucky enough to snag a key for myself.

Friday, July 27, 2012

FreeJack Revamped - Impressions

FreeJack is a multiplayer online racing game, focused on the discipline and sport of Parkour and Free Running (respectively). It features cartoon cell-shaded visuals with a hip-hop and electronica soundtrack.

To sum FreeJack up in one sentence: its Mario Kart meets Jet Set Radio meets Mirror’s Edge. The game was previously released by GamerKraft in 2010. Back then: it received several updates including new courses, missions and outfits, but these new additions weren’t enough to keep players interested. A full release of the game was announced in 2011, including a brand new graffiti race mode, but unfortunately the initial release date was pushed back to fall, and then an undetermined date. After two solid years, FreeJack is finally ready to lace up its running shoes and step back up to the starting line with a revamped version that includes many game changers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Maestia - Press Tour

New to Gravity’s Warp Portal of F2P titles comes Maestia, a fantasy MMORPG focused on everything for everyone, including a mercenary system, faction based PvP and small tweaks on several time-tested MMO features. Even though I ended up showing a little late to the tour, I managed to get a quick look at Maestia during for its Open Beta launch. When starting out, players will have a choice between one of two factions: The Superion Guardians and the Temple Knights. The Temple Knights are trying to prevent an evil Dark Lord from rising, while the Superions are trying to summon the Dark Lord so they can defeat it once and for all. It’s an interesting premise where both factions are good guys, but still at odds with each other.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just an update - 7/18/2012

Holy cow! Already halfway into July and I haven't made any updates to my blog other than the Ghost Recon Online post! Well here's a little something to let people know that I'm still alive:

I've been procrastinating (as usual) on a few of my projects for this month. The first one that I'm kinda sorta working on now: A press tour article on Gravity's Maestia MMORPG. Even though I showed up a little late to the party, I managed to get a quick look at the game, showcasing all the features that will be available with the upcoming Open Beta launch.

Seems like a pretty average MMORPG, but I do like some of the features it has like Mercenary system and the faction-based PvP. I should be done with article by the end of the day.

Also on my to-do list is the upcoming RaiderZ CBT from Perfect World Entertainment. I tried the game out during it's alpha phase and it was so incredibly un-optimized back then. I did like how the combat played out, though. Looks like it could be a nice F2P alternative to TERA.

Speaking of TERA: I'm still playing but I'm starting to get bored with it now. This is due to the lack of things to do at the end-game, and because En Masse's incompetence.

From CBT1-4, everything was swell, but then CBT5 and OB came and everything went downhill from there:
  • Removed mischief engines, effectively screwing up the crystal economy
  • Removed lucky eggs for the sake of 'making alchemy more useful'
  • Removed crafting quests, effectively making crafting more difficult and tedious than it needs to be.
  • Remove pets/vendor shops (this is the only change that makes some sense, but is still VERY debatable since a couple of MMOs have both player shops and an Auction House/Trade Broker that co-exist together.)>
  • Lowered the item drop rates for everything.
  • Re-arranged dungeons for late game and end-game without proper re-balancing (Ascent of Saravash, anyone?)
  • Made the ToT dungeon more tedious for earning master glyphs (In K-TERA depending if you defeat 1 to 3 bosses, you can earn 1, 3 or 5 dire badges towards earning master glyphs that cost 60 of then, but in NA TERA, you can only earn 1, 1 or 3 dire badges.
  • Lowered success rate for equipment enchanting and made it twice as hard as it is in K-TERA
  • Made changes to elin and castanic outfits just so they won't offend the dumb soccer moms that can't tell the difference from fantasy and reality.
  • They reduced nexus times so that only a select few can participate (Both K-Tera and TERA EU has Nexus runs everyday. TERA NA only has Nexus runs on the weekends
  • They basically made the game inferior to its Korean counterpart in several ways

Kinda funny how the EME version of TERA has more gear grind and RNG than the Korean version, huh? What's even funnier is that K-TERA got bashed by South Korean gamers for not having enough grind in it. Maybe BlueHole should consider switching the two versions of the game? They'd would probably be more successful if they did.


The main reason I stuck with this game for so long was because I enjoyed the time and friends I've made on the RP server, but just recently I cancelled my sub and will be using two chronoscrolls I got for this month and the next to see if the Queen of the Argon Part 2 update will make a difference. Besides that, I really hope En Masse is starting to see the error of the ways and will start putting things back in order. They already started backtracking a little since they re-added the Valkyon’s Response reward even though it was removed when OB started, with an excuse stating "Grouping is its own reward". Sure the rewards now are crappier than before, but it's a start.

I have a little bit more I want to say about TERA, but I gotta get going. Will update this post later!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ghost Recon Online - Impressions (Video)

Last week, I spent my time trying out Ghost Recon Online, a F2P third person shooter developed and published by Ubisoft. The game is apart of the Tom Clancy series, best known for series of novels and books based on military and science action.

and a lot of people are saying that Ghost Recon Online is considered to be the ‘poor man’s version” of the recently released Ghost Recon Future Solider which is available on the PC and Consoles… And for the most part, they’d be right, because both games seem to share some similarities between them.