Starbound Beta, Into Infinity

Starbound

Yeah, the Starbound beta just came out yesterday, but I’m gonna go ahead and give all of you tentative players a fair look at what one day of experience can get you. It’s unsurprisingly impressive, as I have been following the project since its very early stages, and I have had a chance to observe all the effort and unique features put into this space explorer. This IS a space explorer, by the way. The universe is infinite, which also describes your ability to travel. The only thing that limits you is fuel and difficulty.

Any good space explorer game would give you a ship. And so far, Starbound seems pretty good. Having a ship as a central hub equipped with a 64-slot item storehouse is extremely convenient. Depending on your preference, you may want to place your crafting stations on your ship so you can access them from anywhere on the planet’s surface. Or you could build a house on-world and stuff them in there, your call. For the time being, drop zones are unchangeable, so try not to build your house willy-nilly unless you like running long distances.

Starbound

The quest system is an excellent source of direction early-game. It gives you slight nudges in the right direction while leaving most of the discover-and-learn up to the player, thus preserving the sense of exploratory survival Starbound presents.

Speaking of survival, there are four vital gauges you’ll need to be aware of. The first is HP, which is a video game fundamental. You have no natural regeneration (to my knowledge), so the only way to heal is to use bandages, which I’m not telling you how to get. The hunger bar is easy enough to deal with. Find/grow food and eat it. Most planets are rife with food. If not, you’ll have to use a hunting bow to murder local aliens. Only bow kills will cause them to drop raw meat or leather, so don’t try to use melee weapons if you’re hungry. The heat bar is the reason why you shouldn’t go to moons or arctic planets without extensive fire-based preparation. Once you start freezing, your health drops fast. The air bar goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: breathe, dummy.

Starbound

Creatures and planets are procedurally generated, meaning you’ll be hard-pressed to find places and creatures that look exactly the same. There are many different biomes, though so far I’ve only encountered forest, moon, arctic, and arid, but that’s because I like meandering about aimlessly and taking things that I think look neat without regard for my sense of progression. Like NPC structures! You’ll find villages and dungeons and plenty of other unnatural buildings that will yield mountains of loot to you. Some will be friendly enough to not kill you on sight and sell you things, so make sure to check ‘em before you wreck ‘em.

Though only a comparatively minor and simple aspect, I think I need to cover Pixels, the universal currency. You cannot share pixels (yet), and you lose 25% of your current wealth on death. Pixels are required in many crafting recipes, so you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time gathering them if your mortal coil tends to unwind on a dime.

Starbound

On a final note, tech is hard to come by, but infinitely useful. For those of you who don’t know, tech in Starbound is the “abilities” that go into your four tech slots. I’ve only got the dash at the moment, which has allowed me to essentially negate fall damage and, well… fly. More or less. The energy bar regenerates pretty fast, so even when I burn it all in a burst, I’ll still have enough for one more dash before I hit the ground.

That’s about all I’ve got for the time being. More to come as I find it, so stay tuned!

Risk of Rain – Tips and Tricks pt1

Risk of Rain

What’s that? Risk of Rain whopping your buttocks and you have no idea what class to play or how to play them? I like you, pal, but you’re a bad liar. If you’ve unlocked all the characters, then you’re probably pretty spittin’ good at the game, considering you beat it five times and got the Mercenary.

However, you are earnest, and in my boundless compassion and understanding, I have chosen to educate you in the ways of Risk of Rain’s classes. How to build them, how to play them; the information is yours, though it will be more useful for multiplayer sessions. The only class I won’t cover is the Miner, because I plain old don’t like him! Got a problem? Take it up with the Wiki! This’ll be divided into two articles, so don’t give me no sass when you hit the end and realize the Merc didn’t get any screentime! Here it comes!

The Commando! More rakka dakka than a crackerjack, and a reliable means of mobility! Why die when you can roll about like a tumbleweed? His rapid attack rate makes him ideal for on-hit or chance-based proc effects, so he can easily fit a damager or damage support role! Applying debuffs with Full Metal Jacket can give your allies room to breathe, and they may well hyperventilate when you clear a path with Suppressive Fire! Never underestimate knockback and stun!

Risk of Rain

The Enforcer! What a pile of crap! You thought damage immunity from the front would save you? Think again! With slow attacks, slower animations, and bad range on a good day, the most helpful thing you could do would be to face-tank! Which would be nice, if most every enemy didn’t like scrambling behind your shield while you wait for the cooldown to allow you to stand up again! Who would hire a security guard with a reaction time of four seconds? Who can say! Probably someone that wants you to die so they can nab all the loot!

The Bandit! Here’s a fella who says howdy to injured enemies by filling them with daylight! Lights Out is your claim to fame, as it resets your cooldowns if it strikes a killing blow! Couple that with the stealthy speed of Smokebomb and you’ll have your enemies wondering where to point their various appendages! Think glass cannon and grab all the damage boosts you can, because nothing says “I’m a team player” like a man with no patience and an itch to deal 600% damage in a single shot!

The Huntress! Overcomplicate the girl with the bow and you’ll get stuck! Get the point? Think simple! This lass runs while she guns, and with every level shifts the air to arrows ratio! Low cooldowns means a bouncing Laser Glaive for every crowd and a Cluster Bomb for every horde! Don’t feel like eating crow after a misstep? Blink your way out of any awkward situation and shaft the bastards for their violent aggression! Gather chance proc and crit items to maximize your damage! And always remember, a little lifesteal goes a long way!

Risk of Rain

HAN-D! You might sigh when you hear the only healing ability in the game is stuck on a melee class, but don’t feel down! This robotic rambler’s full of piss and vinegar, stalwart as the mountain, and slow as cold molasses! HURT enemies to knock them out of your personal bubble, and when they die, fire a DRONE to restore that long-loved health! OVERCLOCK to add some pep to your dash and bash, then bring the hurt to groups of hooligans with your FORCED_REASSEMBLY and have a chortle as they rocket upwards! Build survivability and let your friends worry about damage and dodging! A tin man like you can conquer the world just by standing still and flinging your fist about!

And that’s all you get, folks. You’ll see more of this in the followup.

Darren Nakamura of Destructiod made a noteworthy grievance concerning the control schema, which I’d like to shed a little light on. Assigning your ability keys to QWER, your active key to T, your use item key to F, and your swap item key to G, you’ll have a much easier time coordinating your fingers and remembering which doohickey does what. Or you could just pop in a gamepad and play it the easy way, your choice. Here’s the alt review: http://www.destructoid.com/review-risk-of-rain-265467.phtml

Risk of Rain Yet No Risk of Rage

Risk of Rain

The dichotomy is baffling.

Risk of Rain accomplished something that I have, until now, thought impossible of roguelike indie games: challenging but reasonable difficulty. None of that Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, rage-mode bullshit that deters casual gamers from getting involved with interesting new titles, no sir. It’s true that Risk of Rain has you hit the ground running, but it’s not a terribly difficult task to get into the swing of things before you’ve unlocked the 50 deaths achievement.

Best to get the basics out of the way first, I think. Action platformer entails high mobility, position-oriented rakka dakka mob combat. You start off with one class to play, but there are ten classes total, some more difficult to unlock than others. More on that later. Each class has four abilities, typically two offensive, one evasive, and one REALLY offensive. I can tell you right here and now that some classes (sniper, engineer) were not meant for casual solo play.

Risk of Rain

Each session has five stages. The first three stages have two possible areas which are chosen at random, and the third of those areas has a secret area contained within. Each run is different, eh? There is a timer on the upper right hand side of your screen that displays the difficulty. Difficulty rises over time, advancing a level every five minutes or so, meaning things get harder the longer you take. That poses a dilemma: Do you wait on a single level and get lots of money and experience with which to handle the higher difficulties, or do you bomb rush and hope the lower difficult spares your life?

My advice to newcomers to the genre and/or game is pretty simple. Lern 2 mobil. Your evasive skills are your lifeline, and your knockback skills are critical in keeping enemies off of you. There are no invincibility frames after getting slapped. Sure, there’s no knockback for player characters, but that means standing in one place can kill you if you’re being swarmed.

Risk of Rain

Oh, right, characters. I’ll lump items in to this explanation, because both are locked in the achievement system. Do special things, get more rewards. It’s quite like Binding of Isaac, item-wise, as you receive random powerups each run, and unlocking achievements grants more powerups to find. Characters are unlocked like the ships are in FTL; do a certain thing, get a special someone. For example, beating the first three bosses earns you the tanky Enforcer, and collecting 15 monster logs earns you the extremely mobile Huntress. See the in-game achievement list for more information on how to unlock people.

Risk of Rain

Cameron Woolsey of GameSpot mentioned “wiping the sweat from his brow” after beating the final boss. I was in the same boat. THAT was a final boss. That’s what I’m talking about. I play the game just so I can get to that guy and fight him, I tells ya. Oh, right, so, forgot to mention you can roll with up to four players online or on LAN. Here’s the alt review for your reading pleasure. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go play more Risk of Rain: http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/risk-of-rain-review/1900-6415566/

Planetary Annihilation the Crater Debater

Planetary Annihilation

Planetary Annihilation is so gosh darned neat. It’s still in alpha stages of development, but hot damn it’s fun to mess around with. It’s from the makers of Supreme Commander, if I recall correctly. If not, the two games are extremely similar regarding basic mechanics, and I expect several grudges will be held upon full release. Let us hope that the former is the case.

Planetary Annihilation is true to its name; throughout the course of your top-down RTS-style skirmish, you may wreak utter havoc on the planetoid you occupy by one or many means made available to you through the tiered construction system. Some of these options include artillery cannons, satellite cannons, super units, and using massive rocket engines to redirect meteors. You can engineer the cataclysm, man.

At the moment, the meteor feature is still in development, so even if you pay the $50 support purchase, you won’t have access to all the good stuff. That’s what alpha stage is all about, anyway: Bug reporting, testing, etc.

Planetary Annihilation

Aside from the outer space features, Planetary Annihilation plays exactly like Supreme Commander. You have a Commander unit that is capable of building rudimentary structures. You have to maintain your Mass and Energy by constructing the appropriate buildings, and then defend those buildings with land, air, or sea units. I haven’t come across any planets that support naval warfare yet, so I’m assuming that too is a feature-to-be.

Newcomers beware. This genre of RTS includes micro-macro unit and resource management. The more fronts you fight on, the better chances you have of winning. The AI has no difficulty setting yet, which means they can and will utterly overwhelm you within ten minutes of base-building if you lack base defenses or a substantial number of nearby units. The air-harass is strong, and the swarms of mass-produced ground units is stronger. It might be better to play with a friend and optimize your build schema before diving into battle with multi-taskmaster AI foes. Or you can suicide run until you figure things out, your call.

Planetary Annihilation

As neat as the concept of planetary warfare is, I would not recommend purchasing Planetary Annihilation now unless you are a dedicated fan of this sort of game, or you have the money to spare and you don’t mind a pre-release gamble.

Oh, and before I let this thing taper off, older computers may have severe video card issues with this one. Non-loading textures, models, that sort of thing. “Work in progress” cannot be stressed enough! No alt review because alpha. That’s all, folks.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Drops the Moon, then the Ball

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

I’m probably going to encounter some overpaid assassins for saying this, but after playing a fair chunk of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, I’m not entirely sold on it. It’s not bad, but it definitely falls in the shadow of its predecessor. I loved The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way. Due to the fact that I didn’t beat it completely, I’ll keep things rather brief, biased, and stick to my initial reactions. It might be cleaner to do this in a pros-cons list format.

Alright, so, what I liked:

  • The Happy Mask Salesman. What a freak. He would make one hell of a protagonist. He has more personality than… well, everyone.
  • The masks themselves. Transforming into other creatures? Getting to be a Zora? Yes please. Dicking around with masks is genuinely fun and allows for a versatile gameplay experience.
  • Time shenanigans. They add a different feel to the game; a sense of urgency and impending doom. Being able to see the angry-faced moon descending ever so slowly while listening to the heavy, grinding ticks of the clocks; tip-top immersion. I’m involved. Now don’t crash into Clock Town and kill me.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

And what I didn’t like:

  • The convoluted fetch questing. My tastes have definitely changed since playing Ocarina of Time, because in Majora’s Mask, all that running around to get things to get other things feels like a huge chore. It’s been a core part of gameplay though, so this particular aspect can be forgiven. Damn Goron sword.
  • The musical selection, including newly implemented ocarina songs and background music. I like the Song of Healing, but the Song of Awakening and the Song of Soaring… They’re rather icky. As far as background music goes, I didn’t really notice anything good or bad, which is in itself a problem. Hell, I have the Ocarina of Time soundtrack on several personal playlists.
  • The camera controls. Nothing’s changed since Ocarina of Time. If it has, I haven’t noticed. The gosh darn thing is as clunky as ever, and it goes from impractical to crippling come the time for high mobility in closed tight spaces, i.e. the Deku Shrine. Good lord, my battle was more against the camera controls than it was the obstacles. Where the crap did you go, you umbrella brandishing dandy nut spitter butler?!

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

I’m thinking you need to carry hype over from Ocarina of Time to Majora’s Mask in order to fully appreciate it, but since I haven’t touched the former for years, I went in blank slate. Despite really wanting to like the masky chain-tasky follow-up to a slice of N64 gold, I find myself at a spectacular neutral while hunting down the Four Giants and navigating tool-oriented dungeon puzzles.

Maybe I just need to play it more. Or maybe I would have had more fun if I hadn’t played Ocarina of Time at all. No context means the heightened tolerance in dealing with new games. Most- excuse me, all of the negative points I make regarding Majora’s Mask are directly linked to Ocarina of Time. I can’t help it! I liked OoT more. Oh well. To all the Majora’s Mask fans out there: I’m sorry, but this one’s just not my cup of tea. I would recommend it to Legend of Zelda fans and that group only.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

An anonymous LoZ fan of ZeldaDungeon can provide you with the very review that I had hoped to give! Saves me the trouble of replaying OoT over again then quickly shifting to MM before the buzz fades, anyway. Here’s a link to the alt review (no pun intended), and if my review offended your eye-holes, feel free to forget about it entirely: http://www.zeldadungeon.net/Zelda06Review.php

Antichamber, Think Outside the Blocks

Antichamber

I like games like Antichamber. Normally I don’t have a very large tolerance for puzzle shit, but “think outside the box” puzzle shit is fairly easy to stomach. That’s especially true with constant tidbits of helpful advice that apply to the real world as well as they do to the game world. I suppose it would be easy to label such a game as a pretentious artsy fartsy “explore yourself” gambit, what with philosophical advice literally hanging about on walls. Not saying that it isn’t, but I am saying that it’s good enough to make that guru stuff tolerable.

When I first played Antichamber, I noticed some distant parallels to Portal. Clean, white walls, unvoiced subject wandering through initial puzzles before getting a gun, then relying on that very gun to make it through the rest of the challenges… I say “distant parallels” because these similarities aren’t enough to break immersion. This is the perfect example of the phrase “inspired by.” Whether Antichamber actually was inspired by Portal or not I can’t say, but the balance of uniqueness and similarity is just right to make the point I’m making. If you need a short version of that, here it is:

Antichamber

If something inspires you, don’t clone it. Just break it into components and change everything you can, over and over, until the “clone” has evolved into its own beast. That way the product of inspiration has more room for the creator’s ideas, rather than being stuffed full of the original’s concepts and ideas due to a fear of inadequacy.

Back on track. Antichamber is a block-based 3D puzzle platformer that utilizes several very clever mechanics to make its puzzles challenging yet fun. Most of those involve hiding solutions in plain sight, such as a room of giant hollow cubes that contain different things when looked at from different sides. It just so happens that one of those spatially paradoxical sides is a door to the next area. There’s plenty more to the mind game, of course: vanishing stairways, appearing pathways, doors that lead to different places depending on how you enter them, infinite loops…

ANTPic3

Those puzzles tend to be the most entertaining, whereas the block puzzles require practical problem-solving skills. Your block gun (when you acquire it) is capable of picking up and spitting out blocks taken from your environment. It has several upgrades that allow it to perform different things, like dragging block lines, creating single-layer walls, or draining a large clump of blocks quickly. While some areas are inaccessible without said upgrades, this is a game of cunning. Sometimes it’s possible (but admittedly difficult) to slip through higher tier puzzles regardless of your gun’s abilities. You just need to think outside the box… with blocks.

The achievement system involves reading the black advice panels as you happen upon them throughout your puzzling. Collecting all of them awards you with something truly worthwhile, but I won’t get into that. I can tell you that it isn’t a cookie or a fancy hat, however.

Antichamber

Antichamber deserves a cookie for being so gosh darned fun. If there’s one thing I like, it’s a game that challenges what video games can challenge you to think and do. I would highly recommend this game to Portal fans and anyone who enjoys a nice brain teasing puzzle every now and again.

Patrick Hancock of Destructoid has a better title than me, which makes me rather sad. “Confusion and Illusion.” That’s fun to say. Right, well, he most definitely enjoyed Antichamber around as much as I did, and his review contains some video examples of the in-game tricks used to keep your head-gears whirring. Check it out right here: http://www.destructoid.com/review-antichamber-243431.phtml

Terraria 1.2 Tips and Tricks

Alternatively titled “How to Be an Overpowered Little Shit.”

So you’re playing the new Terraria 1.2 patch, you just murdered the Wall of Flesh, and now hard mode is utterly kicking your ass. You need a way to survive, and you need it fast. What can you do, though? Digging for ore is tedious and difficult, especially with all these endgame enemies running around. I’ll tell you what you can do, my good chum: You can stock up on spectacular items that’ll keep you alive and more than kicking! I’m going to tell you how to get each and every one.

We’ll begin with the quintessential vampire knives, a useful healing and damaging tool that never stops being useful. Though admittedly hard to find, acquiring a set will make hard mode less threatening. Vampire knives are guaranteed to spawn inside a crimson dungeon chest, which is unlocked by a crimson biome key. This means a fair amount of hard mode grinding (or a royal fuckton, depending on your luck), as the key has a small chance of dropping from crimson enemies. Then, also dependant upon luck, you have to explore the dungeon and look for a unique red chest that’s themed after the crimson biome. Your knives will be inside.

Terraria 1.2

The vampire knives are rapid-use, scatter-throw, life-stealing melee projectiles that return ~5-10% of the damage they deal as healing. Since you throw so many so fast, the trickle heal they provide is quickly made substantial, especially when fighting larger enemies. You might want to make a few small worlds to scope for them more quickly, since you have a chance not to get crimson, and a chance not to get a crimson chest.

Next on the list is the specter armor, a source of both personal and party healing. This armor is crafted from ectoplasm, which is occasionally dropped from any enemy in the dungeon that has over 100 health provided you have beaten the hard mode jungle boss Plantera. Killing that beastie may be a royal pain in the ass if you don’t have good mobility and a ranged attack. Take, for example, vampire knives! I recommend leading her to the surface, by the by. Less cramped up there, considering it only spawns underground.

Terraria 1.2

When that’s finished, the dungeon will begin to spawn new enemies that have a small chance to spawn dungeon spirits when slain. Dungeon spirits drop one or two ectoplasm when they die, so prepare for more grinding. You’ll get lots of money and crap, so it all pays off in the end. Oh, right, to clarify the earlier ambiguity, only dungeon spirits drop ectoplasm, and only 100+ HP dungeon enemies spawn dungeon spirits.

Spectre armor functions like standard mage armor, increasing your mana pool and magic damage, reducing mana use, but with one lovely bonus: You receive 5% of the magic damage you deal as health. It used to be ten, but it got nerfed hard in a quasi-recent patch. In addition to the lifesteal reduction, projectiles return less HP with each consecutive hit. It’s still amazing, since it sends the HP to the most damaged character in its vicinity. Having multiple spectre armored mages basically guarantees complete team survival during boss fights, providing everyone makes sure their mana doesn’t run dry.

Terraria 1.2

Personally, I like to run around with melee armor and mage armor, placing the inactive set in my vanity slots for quick switching. Along with vampire knives, I like to use magnet sphere (dropped by blue armored bones) and an inferno fork (dropped by diabolists). All three can be found in the hard mode dungeon, and the latter two spells deal plenty of damage, making them a wonderful choice when going specter.

Hope this helps you become an overpowered little shit!

Here’s a brief review of the Terraria 1.2 patch by Callum Shephard of StarburstMagazine, because knowing is half the battle. If the battle is huge, which it will be, then it’s really important that you know what you’re up against! Like walking over single blocks. You can prevent that by holding down and your desired direction, by the way. Er, right, here’s the alt review: http://www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/games-reviewspc-xbox-ps3-and-more/6768-game-review-terraria-12-patch-pc

Terraria 1.2, Less is More but More is Better

Terraria 1.2

Terraria? What’s that? We’re all waiting on Starbound here. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s down to what, ten dollars on Steam? A lot’s changed with the Terraria 1.2 patch, I’ll have you know. A crapton more content for both the console and PC versions, to be specific. You’ll be getting all the best info on the latter, so sit tight and let me explain a few things, alright? There is so much new stuff. New enemies, bosses, weapons, armors, accessories, resources, biomes… I doubt I’ll be able to cover it all. But I’ll try! Here we go!

New and upgraded biomes! Snow biomes got revamped and have underground variants. Web-filled spider micro-biomes appear underground. Hive biomes pop up inside jungle biomes. The dungeon has a jungle counterpart that’s really hard. The Corruption has a 50% chance to be replaced by the meat and blood-themed Crimson. All biomes have new hardmode enemies, and hardmode itself has a slew of new bosses that are going to murder you probably.

Terraria 1.2

There are plenty new resources to discover and craft with. Most of them are variants of standard metals, which either serve as replacements or don’t show up at all. Kinda like how The Crimson works! While the tools and weapons are mostly the same, the variant armors have unique set bonuses. Hallowed armor isn’t necessarily the best this time around! It’s simply the most well-rounded.

Speaking of well-rounded, hardmode brings about a very pleasing change in player classes: Specialization. Depending on which equips you go for, you can specialize in different areas of your preferred class. For melee, you can go all-out berserker or tank it up. For mages, you can opt for maximum nuke or sacrifice a little output to heal your teammates. I have no idea about rangers, because the only ranges weapon I like to use is the piranha gun. Yes, it shoots piranhas. There’s also a gun that shoots rainbows, and I ain’t talkin’ about the rainbow staff.

Crafting saw a boost, what with all the new accessories pouring in. There are now a few higher tiers of accessory combination that allow temporary lava invulnerability, debuff immunity, quadruple jumps, flaming attacks, and plenty more that I’m going to tactfully avoid disclosing.

Terraria 1.2

There are also a few new weather-based events, the most major of which I was unfortunate enough to encounter on my first in-game day of harmode. Or second, maybe? It certainly was early on. Solar eclipses cause fast, painful, tough enemies to spawn en masse. While they may kick your ass thoroughly, eclipses are your only means of acquiring the materials needed to create the legendary Terra Blade, the best sword in the game.

The dungeon now contains biome chests that can only be unlocked by hunting down special keys that drop only in specific biomes. These chests contain incredibly powerful endgame items that you’ll really want, i.e. the piranha/rainbow guns and life-leeching throwing daggers.

Overall, I give Terraria 1.2 a big whoppin’ TEN OUTTA TEN. This is an amazing expansion that got me playing again, and although I’ve already hit endgame and beaten every boss there is to beat (on the PC version), I still haven’t collected everything. It’s a multi-world journey for goodies! What fun!

Terraria 1.2

Phil Savage of PCGamer has graciously provided the interwebs with a nearly-complete bulleted list of all the major changes made in the Terraria 1.2 update. Reading my account of the new stuff is more fun than a list, but a list is easier, so you can use this if you want. I won’t hate you: http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/10/02/terraria-1-2-update-released-tweaks-almost-every-part-of-the-game/

Ps3 Gamer Zone’s Top Five Worst Games

If games like these keep coming out, the future of the gaming industry is bleak. These are five of the most unpleasant video games I’ve ever encountered, and as such, this list should be considered a practical means by which to avoid throwing money away on forgettable and un-fun games. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of terrible; prepare for Ps3 Gamer Zone’s Top Five Worst Games.

 

#5 – From the Abyss

From the Abyss

This short-lived Aksys spectacle appeals to generic dungeon-crawler RPGs all over the world. It was a low-key release on the Nintendo DS, and it remained as such for the aforementioned reasons. Now, this doesn’t necessarily qualify as bad; it’s just so mediocre that it’s not so much a game as it is the rudimentary collection of aspects that a top-down RPG would typically contain. There is one thing that makes it bad, however: chance based drops. Grinding, ho!

 

#4 – Custom Robo Arena

Custom Robo Arena

After having played the Gamecube variant, it’s safe to say that this spiritual successor drove itself into the ground and immediately began pushing up daisies. The visual designs of the robos and characters suffered a drop in quality, possibly a result of aiming the game at younger audiences. The plot suffered a quality drop as well, and playtime was buffered violently by the need to grind in-game currency. Even completionists won’t want to have at this one.

 

#3 – Armored Core V

Armored Core V

This is what happens when you take a technical, customization-oriented game, dumb it down, and swap the area of focus from single-player to online multiplayer. The transition was not graceful. The weapon system was downgraded into a rock-paper-scissors system of chemical beats ballistic beats laser beats chemical. Add that to the useless ultimate weapons, the clunky new control scheme, and the fact that some missions are impossible to perform well in without a wingman… and you’ve got one hell of a terrible game.

 

#2 – Dead Island

Dead Island

You know what bothers me about Dead Island? Riptide, the sequel, uses the exact same assets that the first game used. Same physics engine, same character textures, same enemies… It’s essentially a direct expansion the first game. And the first game was shit. Anyway, Dead Island the First was a zombie game that sold itself by presenting zombies on a tropical island resort, which as it turns out only made up the very first area. Everything else was generic and terribly disinteresting. You’ll need to check out the linked review for the full scoop.

 

#1 – Command and Conquer IV: Tiberian Twilight

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight

This installment of the glorious Tiberium Wars series holds a special place in the blackest depths of my seething heart. Yet another tactically retarded ploy to turn a quality series into an easy-to-play kiddie variant that everyone can pick up. Forget strategy, base building, and everything else that makes up a good warlike RTS! Let’s just turn it into a capture-the-flag grindfest! There is a level up system in this horrible pile of digital sequel sludge. Other nuances may exist, but until you peek at the actual review, you’ll have to trust me when I say that Tiberian Twilight deserves Rank One of Ps3 Gamer Zone’s top  five worst games.

Ps3 Gamer Zone’s Top Five Casual Games

Video games are a big part of society these days. They’re used to entertain, relieve stress, pass time, make money, tell stories, and plenty more. This time around, I’ll be listing off the top five games I prefer to play when I just feel like kicking back and relaxing. These games tend to be very good at killing time and setting your mood back to neutral, so if you’re looking for a challenge, you’re probably in the wrong department. Top five casual games, comin’ at ya!

 

#5 – Proteus

Proteus

It’s like playing a song. I don’t mean that in the conventional sense, as in clicking a button and listening to music. I mean playing a video game that is a song. No goals, no direction, just 8-bit exploration in an interactive 3D environment. Every little object has a tune to play, and the tone changes as the seasons pass. This is the purest form of video game audio therapy.

 

#4 – Kirby Air Ride

Kirby Air Ride

This ‘un ranks among the top five because you can laze about in City Trial mode and just wander. The city is big enough that you’ll have plenty to explore, and the game itself doesn’t actually get hard unless you put in some high level CPUs. Otherwise, it’s just laid back achievement hunting. Plus you have Air Ride or Top Ride mode to fall back to for a different variety of fun. Versatile and easy to pick up for everyone!

 

#3 – Yume Nikki

Yume Nikki

Kind of obscure, but the abstract imagery and exploration aspects of this not-quite-RPG are unmistakably unique. Progress is marked by acquiring new forms for Madotsuki to assume, leading up to an unsettling conclusion. If you take a shine to the game, you can check out all the fan sites and see what people have come up with to explain the oddities contained within the game. You may even wind up making a few explanations of your own.

 

#2 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Oh, what? Why isn’t this number one? No way, bro. An excellent choice in casual gaming, as it goes as fast as you do regarding content. The more you play, the more you unlock. If you’re not in a rush, you’ll get a slow trickle of goodies that’ll keep you coming back for more. Or, you can time travel and get all your stuff at once. Despite the ingrained constraints presented, you can have all the fun you want with New Leaf at whatever pace you choose.

 

#1 – Journey

Journey

Journey is such a beautiful game. From the expansive environments to the subtle backstory, it will pull you into a world of discovery and actualization. What meaning you glean from the game plays second fiddle to the experience itself. Without words, it’ll gently nudge your mood in the direction best suited to the state of the character. You’ll be curious as you meander through the initial desert, scared as you evade the guardian patrols, somber as the split mountain’s cold sets in.

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