Friday, 11 March 2011

[Review] Anmesia: The Dark Descent

At a time where horror-survival games supply you with a weapon to comfort your grim journey, Amnesia offers only degrees of discomfort and tension.

You play as Daniel, whom wakes up in a castle with, you guessed it, amnesia. Your mission seems simple enough; descend into the castles Inner Sanctum and kill the baron Alexander. Sounds easy, right? As players descend into the Inner Sanctum, they will need to solve puzzles while trying to avoid monsters. Players acquire a lantern (which needs to be refilled with oil) and plenty of tinderboxes to light unlit light sources.

Amnesia tells its story through series of audio flashbacks and notes which are scattered throughout Castle Brennenburg. The audio flashbacks depict Alexander taking Daniel on the grand tour throughout his castle. The notes on the other hand fill in the reason that Daniel has come to Castle Brennenburg. They are diary entries which provide insight to scientific discoveries of ancient terrors and Daniels activities while at Castle Brennenburg. The Story told is extremely solid (and at times disturbing) and is told extremely well, especially when all the notes are collected.

But the strength of Amnesia lies in the game play and atmosphere. Dark rooms, visual sounds (such as footsteps, moans, growls, voices, screams, scratchings,etc), and visual disturbances such as piles of dead bodies and doors blowing open, not to mention the horrific creatures themselves, provided an extremely tense and terrifying atmosphere.

Amnesia makes use of a Sanity level. Sanity is affected by everything listed above. Witnessing unsettling flashbacks, staying in the dark for too long, and staring at monsters for will greatly affect your sanity level. As your sanity depletes, the screen becomes blurry, small insects begin to crawl across your face, you begin to halucinate, and you start heading towards the floor, eventually crawling along the ground. If things get any worse, you black out, leaving you extremely vulnerable until you wake up (with full sanity). Sanity can be gained by finding a light source (or simpling using your lantern) and by completing puzzles and progressing to the next section.

Now for the part you've all been waiting for. The enemies. One of the best strategies Amensia has implimented is the placement and execution of the games horrific creatures. The first thing to know is that if you are standing in a well lit area (or you have your lantern on), the creatures will see you. The second thing to note, is that the lower your sanity is, the easier it will be for a spawned monster to find you, regardless of the amount of light. Many of the gruesome creatures are scripted, that is they will always appear in the exact same place, no matter how many times you play the game. But, there are a lot of random creatures, waiting to spawn at any time. Simply knowning this piece of information causes the player to be extra cautious and, as a result, your greatest fear is based on whether a monster will spawn or not. You fear something that may not happen. But when you do face a monster (yes, this WILL happen sooner or later), you are unable to defend yourself, so you are left with two choices. One, you can stand there as he rips your face off, and your sanity becomes so low that your brain is dripping from your ears. Or two: you can run into a room, barricade the door with anything you find, and hide in the corner, hoping that the
monster will lose interest and de-spawn as he breaks down the door.
In Amnesia, the sounds are just as bone-chilling and tense as the enviroments. As you walk the grim halls of Castle Brennenburg it is not uncommon to hear a wide variety of screams, footsteps, moans, groans, rattling chains and even the grinding of your own teeth (seriously, the character will grind his teeth!).

Now to the puzzles. Most of Amnesias puzzles are pretty straight forward. You collect items found lying around, (like glass jars, wooden hand drills, hammers, etc) then you simply open your inventory and use them with machinery or chemistry sets to acquire a new item which will allows you to move on to the next area. There are some combination puzzles and timed puzzles, but none of them are of great difficulty. After all, this is a horror game, not a puzzle game.
Verdict: Buy it! Whether you are interested in having a look at Amnesia, or your a fan of horror games, buy this game. Frictional studios have done an outstanding job in making a true horror survival game, unlike any other available (maybe except Penumbra, but then, Frictional Studios made that too) which compels players to continue descending even as they face the horrors of Castle Brennenburg.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent - 9.5/10

Guide - PKing in RS [F2P]

PKing in F2P

So you want to know how to PK? Of course you do, that's why you're here. Ok so the first thing i'm going to talk about is stats. It all depends on what kind of PKer you wish to be. My opinion, stick with either a strength pure or range/2h hybrid. DON'T get defense unless you're hitting up 85+ cb's.
Ok so the stats you're after are as follows.

   -   78 Range / 75 Strength / 40 Attack / 49 HP / Mage 31 / CB 52
   -   91 Range / 95 Strength / 40 Attack / 65 HP / Mage 85 / CB 60

Strength Pure
   -   95 Strength / 65 HP / CB 60 / Prayer (Optional) 31

Now you're probably thinking that those stats are practically impossible to reach.
If you're F2P, then you're right. They're impossible. So this is what you'll be after.

   -   70 Range / 70 Strength / 40 Attack / 62 HP / 31 Mage / 52 CB

Strength Pure
   -   80 Strength / 40 Attack / 68 HP / 31 Mage / 56 CB

P2P Guide
This is what I recommend doing. It takes longer but it's well worth it.
1. (If you're making a Strength pure, skip to step 2). Get range to 40 then buy 10 teletabs to camelot. Withdraw at least 500k and use 1 teletab. Run to the Range guild then train range from the minigame to either 78 or 91 Range.
All you need is a bow. Don't worry about losing your gold, you get it all back plus more via redeeming the tickets you get from the minigame for Rune arrows.

2. For strength, do the Minigame Soul Wars.
For each game you compete in, you get a 1, 2 or 3 points depending on if you lose, draw or win. These points, aka Zeals, can be traded in for experience. For every Zeal you exchange you get (Number of Zeals) x 55 x (skill level) in experience. For example if you have 50 Strength and you exchange 5 Zeal points, you will get 13750 experience for that skill. I recommend exchanging 100 points at a time, as you get an extra %10 Exp bonus for doing so.

3. Once you've done this, throw on a full iron set and mage guards outside of edgeville untill 25 Mage.
If you're not making a range/2h(CB 60) then stop reading, you're finished! Now go and PK!
Else, read on.
4. Once you've reached 25 Mage, buy tele's untill 43. Congrats, you can now do superheat!

5. Quickly run and do the Knights Sword quest. It takes about 10mins and saves a heap of time.

6. Once you've done that you should have 29 smithing and be ready to superheat.

7. Buy iron ore and coal. You'll need 1 Iron ore, 2 Coal, 1 Nature rune and a fire staff to make 1 Steel bar.
NOTE: This way can be extremely costly depening on GE prices. You might want to continue teleing untill 55 mage than do High alchemy. Search for a High alchemy calculator to find out the best items to alch.
Buy the materials for 5k Superheats at a time and Superheat untill 85.
Congrats! You can now teleblock!

F2P Guide
1. Melee: Buy an iron, addy and rune scim, aswell as a few hundred Tuna's. Go to Port Sarim and train on the Seagulls untill 20 Attack and 40 Strength. Next, go to edgeville and kill the men in the hut to the north of the bank untill 40 Attack and say, 50 Strength. Once there, head west to the monks and train there untill 70 Strength. Alternatively, you can go to the Stronghold of Security and train on the (Level 13) Minotaurs. From level 70 - 80 Strength it's up to you. The spots mentioned above are some of the best for F2P pures. If you choose to train on something else, go for it.
Skip the below step for Strength pures.

2. Range: Buy a sling and train on the seagulls until 40 range, then train on Monks untill 70 Range.

3. Mage: Put on full iron armour and equip a staff of air and mind runes. Train on the guards in edgeville untill 25 Mage. If you want to be able to tele to lumby, buy teles untill 31 Mage.

Now personally, I find it best just to Range/TB. You're pretty much guaranteed a kill unless you're either coming up against a rune pure or SW Strength prod. When you start combat, NEVER TB at the start. Try and estimate when they've used about 2/3 of their food. That's when you should TB, and range on for an easy kill. Another thing, take risks. Just because they hit you and you're sitting on 120hp doesn't mean you should eat. I see alot of people do this and, put simply, they fail. If you eat straight away, that gives them a chance to get more hits in and you waste more food than necessary. If, however, you keep ranging, you get them to waste and extra 2, 3 or maybe even half an inventory of food. Don't take stupid risks. If you're on 120hp and they're on 400hp, eat. If they're on say 200hp or less, keep ranging. Make them eat. This takes practice to get the hang of when you should eat or not, but it's worth it.
Make sure you always have tele's with you and a (optional) rune 2h/scim & str pot. If there's some rune pures around, feel free to take enough runes for 100 Fire Blasts, but that's up to you.
The equipment I always take are as follows.
  • Green D'hide chaps/vambs.
  • Up to 5 Varrock Teles
  • 5 Teleblocks
  • 100 Addies
  • Monk robe (Can substitute Monk robe for Iron plate & Full helm)
  • 100 Fire Blasts - Only if rune pures are around (Wizard robe and Wizard hat instead of Monk robe)
  • Rune 2h/Str pot
  • Full invent of Swordfish
You don't have to wear the above equipment, it's up to you. I always PK at the castle, and this is the gear I usually take. If you only choose to PK at low level wilderness, don't worry about Fire blasts or Teleblocks.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

$250,000-a-day Minecraft strikes indie game gold

The famous Minecraft chicken duckUPDATED: Sales of one man indie game hit, Minecraft, have now reached $350,000 in a single day.
According to data provided by developer, Mojang, one copy of the €9.95 ($13) game is currently being purchased every 3 seconds, representing sales of $15,000 per hour.
The world-building game has been in development for more than one year. It is largely a one man project of experienced Swedish game maker, Markus Persson (full credits here).
Minecraft drops the player into a vast, pristine, and hostile world in which they must build tools and find resources in order to survive. The focus is on gameplay, and graphics are deliberately crude. Both single player and multiplayer versions exist. In the multiplayer version, players are free to either collaborate or compete.
Minecraft had been selling more than 4,000 copies a day for several weeks, but sales spiked to new highs after a server meltdown prompted Mojang to offer the game for free over the weekend. Many of those who tried the game, which has been dubbed 'Minecrack' for its addictive quality, obviously liked it so much that they purchased it as soon as the servers came back online on Wednesday.
Indeed, Mojang has quite a habit of finding triumph in adversity: an earlier bump in sales was apparently triggered by publicity surrounding Paypal's decision to temporarily lock Persson's account because the amount of money flooding in was deemed 'suspicious'. Sales grew to over 6,000 a day during this period.
"It all feels unreal. I thought I could make a living from the game, but I did not expect to become rich", Persson said in an interview with IDG. Persson was courted by major games companies, including Valve and Bungie, during a recent visit to the US, but said he was not interested in job offers.
peaceful minecraft screenThe game relies on open source sound and graphics code, notably the Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL). Persson's use of the Java programming language has made the game easily portable. Versions of Minecraft are available for PCs, Macs and Linux. It is playable on relatively low-powered systems such as netbooks, although graphics can be jerky on such machines.
Perrson cites games such as Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper and Inifiniminer among key influences on Minecraft's anything-goes nature and blocky 8-bit style.
While it is obviously popular, Minecraft is far from complete, Persson says. The game is still in heavy development, with the current version labeled an 'alpha', and a 'beta' version planned for the near future. Persson plans to double the price to €19.95 when the game is finished, but a purchase of the current version includes all future versions.
More info:
Minecraft Website
July 2010 PC Gamer interview with Markus ‘Notch’ Persson
minecraft landscapeCorrection: This article originally gave the price of the game as $10. The actual price is €9.95 Euros (about $13.30)
Update: This site has archived recent sales data for the game. Sales for September 22 reached almost 26000 copies, representing revenue of almost $350,000 for that 24 hour period.
Update: Persson plans to release the beta version of Minecraft by the end of the year, at which time the price will be increased to €14.95.
Update Sept 29: Since reaching a peak of almost $350,000 in one 24 hour period, on September 22, Minecraft has been selling well over $100,000 every day, despite server outages that have sometimes prevented sales or registrations. Note that because Persson resides in Sweden, these impressive revenue numbers are obviously going to be subject to Swedish taxes to some extent (very approximately 25% for business income, and almost 60% for personal income at the highest rate).
Credit to

Saturday, 5 March 2011

[Review] BulletStorm.

Bulletstorm shows us the true power of the Unreal engine, with its focus on skillshots. The more insane the kill, the more points you get. The more points you get, the more weapons you can unlock. The more weapons you unlock, the more skillshots you unlock. The more skillshots you unlock, the more fun we unlock. And more fun makes us happy, right? The gameplay is very fast paced, and may very well be overwhelming at some points. This game is unique in the way that it is focused around skillshots and the accumulation of points to further better your arsenal of weaponry. The sheer high you get when mowing down wave after wave of enemies feels well, great to put it simply. Don't get me wrong, its not a game where you can literally just run through, all guns blazing, and come out the other end without a single scratch. Afterall, we all run out of ammo at some point. Anyway, the new skillshot factor alone can kill us. I know, I know, it sounds strange, but it's true. Even on the easiest difficulty, when you find yourself focusing on a certain skillshot you often forget your surroundings, and you don't realise your being shot at into you're lying on the ground pumped full of lead. Anyway, onto the review!  

BulletStorm takes place at around the 26th century and revolves around Grayson Hunt, the main protagonist of the story who goes rogue after finding out that his commanding officer General Sarrano had lied about the targets and commanding them to kill innocent men and women. Years later, after an alcohol induced attempt to take out Sarrano, the two ships crash and the game takes off.

After his drunken thirst for revenge which ends up dumping him and Ishi Sato, his friend and crew member, on a nearby planet, Grayson voyages on a journey to avenge his friends and the innocent lives that had been lost at his hand in a desperate attempt to redeem himself. Ishi Sato is badly injured in the crash, and half of his body, along with part of his brain, has been replaced with mechanical parts. Ishi's struggle to compete against the AI that threatens to take over his body and Grayson's desire for revenge provide a gripping and intense storyline.

Presentation and Design
The game takes place on the former resort planet of Stygia, which is now inhabited by criminals, mutants, flesh eating plants and giant monsters. If the collapsing building hadn't given it away, Stygia is in pretty bad shape and ‘BulletStorm’ has done a great job presenting it as a planet of destruction. The environment compliments the destructive nature of the game with flesh eating plants, debris and other spiked objects that can be used to kick enemies into, allowing players to earn extra skill points for environmental kills.

BulletStorm focuses on rewarding players who maximize the amount of skill points from killing a mutant, criminal or monster in a specific way. For example, if you kick a mutant, shoot him and kill him before his hits the ground you will earn skill points for a 'Bullet Kick'.
There are various weapons upgrades, including an energised whip known as the 'Leash' which assists Grayson in moving heavy objects and pulling enemies towards him. Getting all the weapons and upgrading them is great, and with a list of skill points available, it's a lot of fun to attempt to execute the different kills.

The multiplayer mode in BulletStorm is fun enough, however it doesn't provide any competition between players. Rather than having every player for themselves, the four players must work together to make enough skill points to advance to the next wave of mutants and criminals. Although killing waves of enemies sounds like a lot of fun, the skill points for certain kills seem under-rewarded and at times it's hard to distinguish the end of a wave of enemies from the beginning. With no real competition it just feels like killing enemies for the sake it, making the multiplayer dull and repetitive.

Although the gameplay is great, it gets rather repetitive after a time, and the lack of a powerful multiplayer to back it up is rather dull.

Diablo III

In my opinion, this game will beat everything Blizzard has ever made.
Yes, that includes SC II and WoW.
Diablo III is THE game for all click-hungry gamers. Period. You play, you kill, you move on. You come to a boss, you take what you think is an eternity to kill it, you realise that it was just one of the many buffed up dudes that you should quickly expect to see many times throughout the game. The actual bosses though, well I don't know about you, but they look like the funnest things to be killing when your with a few mates. Take a look at this vid, you'll see what I mean.

Crysis 2

Possibly the best up-and-coming FPS to date, Crysis 2 is set to hit the shelves on the 22nd of March this year.
Crysis 2 is set in New York City, a change from the usual tropic scenes used by Crytek, in the year 2023. The game is an intense one, being set in an all new 'urban jungle', and the new and improved suit functionality gives you all the more choices on how you wish to play. Do you want to sneak around, taking opponents out one by one? Or maybe not even touch them. Or maybe you want to go out all guns blazing? Either way, the choice is yours. The urban landscape allows players to navigate through floors and buildings, aswell as wrecked cityscape.

You play as a Force Recon Marine by the name of "Alcatraz", the successor to "Nomad" in the previous Crysis. Prophet, reappearing from the original Crysis, gives you the new and improved Nanosuit 2, and because of this, you are being hunted by Crynet Systems who want to take back the suit, and who have mistaken you for Prophet. The Nanosuit 2 gives players more freedom in their options in tackling situations on the battlefield. The aliens seen in the original game have undergone a major redesigning, transforming their ancient, tentacled exosuits into high-tech armored cyborg war machines that stalk the ravaged New York City. Crytek has stated their intention to surpass the original game graphically and gameplay-wise, and have noted that combat in the game will be "catastrophically beautiful". Crytek has also claimed that Crysis 2 will have lower system requirements than the original game, but will still exceed the original graphically and will also support true stereoscopic 3D. The official system requriements, however, appear to be lower in relative terms rather than absolute. With the release of the PC demo, it is clearly seen that the "minimum" requirements are what's required to run the game on "Gamer" settings at a HD resolution.
The new Nanosuit supports new and upgraded features. However, suit functionality has been streamlined; there will be a brief period of time where players are able to use two modes simultaneously before the suit fully locks the mode. This is longer than in the first game, in which two modes can only be used simultaneously for a split second. The first suit's Strength and Speed modes have been combined into one Power mode, the suit binoculars function has been replaced with an advanced Tactical mode, Cloak mode has been modified to allow increased sensory input and silent melee stealth kills and has been renamed to Stealth mode, while the Armor mode has been left more or less as is, with the exception of slightly restricted agility and an ever-decreasing energy level (in multiplayer at least).

There will be two special editions of the game, Limited Edition and Nano Edition.

Limited Edition

The Limited Edition of Crysis 2 will be available at the same price as the regular game, but in limited quantities. It comes with bonus experience points to "immediately boost the player up to Rank 5, giving access to all the preset class loadouts," a digital camo weapon skin for the SCAR, "Hologram Decoy" attachment for the SCAR, and unique in-game platinum dog tags. The Indian Version, on pre-order, also includes Threat Detector Suit Module (Early Access) and on buying from EA store,a gold dog tag and desert camo for SCAR.

Nano Edition

The Nano Edition of Crysis 2, which is only available through pre-order, includes the Limited Edition copy of the game in a Steelbook case, an 11" statue of Alcatraz posed on top of a New York City taxi, an art book, and a Nanosuit backpack "modeled after the in-game super suit." The Nanosuit backpack will be large enough to accommodate a 17" laptop. As of September 26, 2010, the Nano Edition was made available for pre-order on the EA website for a $149.95 price tag but is currently sold out.

Limited Edition

First post EVARR!

Ok, so i'm starting a new games blog and of course, everyone has to start somewhere. So, what's the first thing that popped into my head? One of the most loved and hated games on the internet, and this is what i'm going to be talking about. RuneScape. Yes, you heard me. RuneScape.
Now I only play this game for the PvP side of it. I think it's great. I mean sure, it's not the best game around, and every game has its flaws, but the feeling you get when you prove yourself better then someone else is unmatched. And that feeling is something I get very, very often. This is on F2P of course. I'm absolutely terrible at P2P PKing, as good as the rewards might be.
Almost every fight i've been in, i've come out of it better off, with at least 2 rows of food left, sometimes even a full inventory. Out of all the fights i've been in, i'd say i've won at least 4/5 of them. The other 1/5 i've either died or tele'd, and dying rarely happens to me. My bank is roughly around 50m,with a mixture of cash and PKing supplies. And i'm only level 60.

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