Sunday, March 24, 2013

Game Review: Torchlight 2

Hello everyone!
Here i am, once again, bringing you a new game to review! This time, I will be reviewing Torchlight II!

A bit about the game and developers.
Torchlight II is developed and published by Runic games. I am not 100% sure, but I think that Runic games and Perfect World Entertainment share the publishing of the game. And as guessed, Torchlight II is a sequel to a well known game called Torchlight.

About Gameplay. 

Torchlight II is an action rpg game like Diablo. You have a top down view which you can zoom in very much. You move using only your mouse, while you use your keyboard to use some skills, potions, switch between skills and for some other hotkeys.

Torchlight was all about the dungeons. It was a single player game with just couple of dungeons to go through. You were in a town called Torchlight and you had to protect it. In Torchlight II, you are out in the open, fighting your ways through tones of creatures on maps, and then finding couple of dungeons that you need to go through to kill the bosses. Of course, there are few dungeons that do not contain a mission, so you can do them only for fun. And for decent drops!

In Torchlight II there are four different selectable classes: Embermage, Berserker, Outlander and an Engineer. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. Tho, in Torchlight II it's all about the damage. No healing. The closest class to being a healer is an engineer.
Embermage is an offensive class with massive destruction powers but very low health.
Berserker is a class which also does massive damage but looks badass while doing so.
Outlander is doing massive critical hits. (That's why I play as an outlander!)
Engineer is more of a tank than a damage dealer.

Another cool thing about Torchlight II is the pet system. While you are making a character, you're also forced (YES, the game forces you!) to make a companion. You are able to chose from couple of pets (8 if i am correct) that will fight alongside you. You can also customize them, but very little bit. Once in game, you can feed the pet with fishes to turn them into some other beasts. Those other pets will then have some skill such as stun, slow, poison damage and so on and on. Though, that just lasts for couple of minutes. Once you chose your pet, you can not change him until you make a new character. If you are extremely lucky, you are able to find a scroll that will transform your pet into something else permanently!

The game is very focused onto the storyline, and that storyline is very long! I've been playing the game for over 12 hours, and I still ain't even close to finishing it. I completed one act out of four of them. Maybe that's because I play solo, but ah well. Luckily, even thought the story is very long and takes very long to complete, the game remains extremely fun to play!

Maps are rather big and not repeatable. Same goes with dungeons. The developers have put a lot of effort into that and made it so much better than how Torchlight was. I really respect that and like it! They also worked on weapons and different equipment. You just can't get bored of searching for new stuff in Torchlight II!

Graphic and Audio
Graphic of Torchlight II is very cartoonish, just how Torchlight was. But I like it! It fits the story and gameplay somehow. Tho, cinematic videos did disappoint me since they are more like comic books than a real video. Other than that, great graphic!
Audio of the game is very good too, but all the songs do sound like a real background music, so after a while you stop even listening to it.

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Very fun game, and yet very cheap.
- Weapons are not character class locked, so a mage can have shotguns and so on and on.
- Many different pets to chose from
- Small, but possible character customization.
- The game is not too repeatable.

- Sometimes the MultiPlayer does not work so well.
- There is no way to reset your stat points.

Overall grade: 7/10

Great work Runic Games!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Game Review: All Points Bulletin: Reloaded

Oi followers!
Today I will be reviewing a free to play title, called All Points Bulletin: Reloaded. Or APB:Reloaded for short.

A bit about the game and developers.
APB was originally developed and published by  Realtime Worlds back in the 2010. It was a pay to play game by then. You had to pay 15$ a month to be able to play. After two to three months, the game got closed down and Realtime Worlds was finished. After that, GamersFirst bought APB and made APB:Reloaded out of it. It's a fully F2P title with options to buy some stuff in game.

About Gameplay. 
APB:Reloaded is a third person shooter game with a sandbox element. Imagine Mafia II, GTA or Saints Row but fully multiplayer! There are two sides in this game, Criminals and Enforcers. When you're about to make a character, you have to chose which side will he / she belong to. You can not change that later. If you want to join the other side, you just need to create a new character and start all over again. To the owners of a higher rank character, that can indeed be a pain in the butt!

APB:Reloaded does not have levels. It has threat level (also called Rank) and a notoriety level. Threat level is gained by ranking up contacts. Players have to chose a contact that they will work for. Once pledged to a certain contact, the player rises that contact's level points. Almost all contacts have 10 levels. As soon as the player rises one contacts level by one, he gets rewards. Each level gives the player different rewards. Players can pledge to a different contact anytime they want, but they can't be in a mission to do so. Notoriety level is much easier to gain and it has only 5 levels. Criminals start at the level 0 and have to advance it to 5. Each level allows the player to get slightly more money from the missions. Once a player reaches level 5, he becomes a "most wanted" person on the server. It will be announced that the person currently has a bounty on his / her head, and the next person who kills him / her gets a nice reward. Notoriety level is always falling down if you aren't doing anything, so it goes back to 0 pretty fast.

To earn new weapons, money, and standing with the contacts, players have to go on a mission. You have to press "K" as a sign that you are ready, which will then allow you to get a random mission. That mission can either be a kill mission, guard, burn, burglary or staying alive mission. It's totally random, and players can't chose if they want or don't want to do the mission. On each mission there is a chance that you get an opposition. The opposition will try to stop you from doing what ever you need to do. It's always better to have mission with an opposition because you earn much more standing and money by having some kills.

Money is an important part of APB:Reloaded because you need it a lot. Unlike the other games, in APB:Reloaded your guns are not permanent. You can buy a gun that will last 10 days. As soon as those 10 days end, the gun will disappear from your inventory and you'll have to get a new one. Different guns have different prices. Cheap guns usually cost about 2k, while the expensive guns can cost over 20 k! You also need to bear in mind that you need to buy bullets for each gun. Bullets are cheap, but they go away very fast so they seem as a waste of money as well. You also need a lot of money to be able to buy cars. Some cars are cheap, the others are very expensive. They can cost even more than 100k! But unlike guns, cars are permanent.

There are a lot of different cars that people can drive in APB:Reloaded. Players can either find a car on the street and take it away from the civilian, or they can buy their own car. The difference is that stealing cars from civilians does not make the car yours. Once you get out of the car, anyone can take it for themselves. While on the other hand, nobody can touch your personal car. Another difference is that you can't customize a civilian's car, while you can customize your own. You can change the car's colors, body kits, sound effect, you can add nitro, some other mods which make your car better and so on and on.

Customization in APB:Reloaded is endless. You can customize every single little bit on your character. You can make the face look same as yours, or you can make some superhero from videogames. I've seen a lot of Spidermans and Dead Pools. around. There are various clothing that you are able to purchase once you've unlocked them from the contacts. Once purchased, you can customize that clothing as well. You can add a lot of signs, tattoos and some pictures all over your body, cars or clothing. Hell, you can even put a skin onto your gun! I am using and urban skin, which gives my guns a kind-of paramilitary look.

There are some limitations though. As every free to play game, there need to be some stuff which you can purchase. In this game, there are premium guns, premium cars, or just premium itself. Premium guns are very Over powered from the normal, free guns but in my opinion that's totally okay. Why? Well because one of those guns costs 20€ for a lifetime license. Why would someone give away 20€ for a weak gun? By premium cars i ment either pre-made cars which are the same as free ones, except they have a pre-made look, pictures, and some mods set up. And there are also body kits for the cars you like. I have, for example, bought two kits and a car. And Premium itself gives the player no big benefits. The player just gets a lot of standing, money, and is able to have much bigger customization options. Unlike Free to play's 3 picture limit, the premium person can add up to 50 pictures per car and character's clothing or tattoos.

Just because a player has premium or premium guns, doesn't mean that he / she is "over powered". As said earlier, Premium does not make the player better. Free to play guns can always win against golden guns (golden guns are the ones you buy with real money). All you need to do is good teamwork and tactics.

Graphic and Audio
Graphically speaking, this game is amazing. It looks kind of realistic, the explosions are beautiful and customization is amazing. Everything about the graphic of this game is amazing.
Audio is awesome too. Great thing about this game's songs is that you can make your own songs in the audio maker. It will require a lot of work, but everyone in the game will be able to hear what you're listening to!

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Amazing customization.
- Big two maps.
- A lot of different guns, clothing and cars.
- Ability to make your own songs.

- A lot of hackers.
- A lot of sudden FPS drop to 0 (also called "Lag" in this game)

Final grade: 8/10

Extra info: So yea, even though this game is amazing and it has been in my top three games ever since closed beta, it has awful anti-hack support. I'm sure G1 are doing their best to fix that, but it's not working. There are more and more hackers every single days, and even with bans, it doesn't fix anything. But if you forget that, this game is just amazing! I love it and i won't stop playing it for quite a long while!

And a short video that I've made with my clan, just for fun

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Game review: Mafia 2.

Hello there dear readers, today I'll be reviewing one great story-based sandbox game called Mafia II!

A bit about the game and developers.
Mafia II was made by a Czech developing company called 2K Czech.They are same guys behind Mafia and Vietcong series.

About Gameplay. 
Mafia II is a sandbox third person shooter game. It is, though, heavily focused onto the story. There is no free roam option as in Saints Row or GTA. You are on one mission and you must do it. You can drive around, shoot people and so on and on but you have to do the mission sooner or later.

With that said, it's understandable that the game has amazing story. I won't give out spoilers, but the story is great. It's amazing how a small and not so known country (except when it comes to beers) is able to make so amazing game. Mafia II is one of those games which you want to play two or three times after you finish it! And the story is very long. It took me 12 hours to finally finish it. And I didn't do anything except the missions. I didn't go on even one short drive around.

In Mafia II you can wear as many weapons as you want which make the game slightly unrealistic. That kind of makes me sad because you can have very few bullets (150 for that Tommy gun with a huge round magazine) and it takes you about 2-3 shots to die. The aiming is slightly hard at first because crosshair is not in the middle of the screen. It's actually close to the top so it's very weird. User controls are slightly weird as well. Picking up items and using some items is done with pressing E, while entering and leaving car is done with F. Holding F allows you to lockpick a car, while Q lets you brake the window and steal it. Q is also a stealth kill. The buttons are kind of tricky but you learn them fast so it's not a problem.

Funny thing about this game is that once police reports your look over the radio, you're wanted by everyone. And therefore you need to either hide from every police officer or go to nearest shop and buy a new clothing. There aren't many things to chose from though. The main thing that changes through the shops is the clothing color. But that's about it.

There are various different weapons which you can find or buy. I usually just grab new weapons off my dead enemies, therefore I don't know if you can buy something new in the shop. I suggest you not to be picky with weapons. Pick every weapon you can find, because extra bullets are always welcome. Especially if you're trigger happy and you're using a Tommy gun. Waste of bullets everywhere, hehe.

You can also tune up your car. You can change it's color and so on and on. There aren't many customization options, but the cool thing is that you can write what ever you want on the plate. Each car you steal must be put into your garage or you'll never see it again. Also, if you ruin your car while driving, you'll need to repair it or it will keep looking bad and crushed. I ain't 100% sure about this because it happened to me only once, but I think that even if you store the car into a garage once, and then forget to store it into garage the next time, the car ain't in your garage anymore and you need to find a new one. You can have up to 10 cars in a garage at the moment, and you can take your cars from any garage that you / Joe / your bosses own.

Graphic and Audio
Graphic, for the game from 2009 is amazing. In my opinion, Mafia II is a game that has the best graphic from all modern sandbox games. It even has slightly better graphic than Saints Row The Third.  All the visual effects are nice. Though, car explosions should be bigger. The cars just go "poof" and that's it. Everything else is awesome.
Songs on the radio are the ones from 1940's and slightly later, so you really get the feeling like you're there. But there are only 3 different radios and not many songs, therefore, it gets very repeatable and annoying. But background songs in crucial missions and in cinematics of the game are amazing.

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Great graphic and audio.
- Lots of different weapons.
- Decent customization in cars and from clothing shops.
- Amazing story.
- Big map and lots of different cars.

- No free roam.
- The game has some video issues on different computers ( lots of weird lights and what not. )
- Too many useless DLCs.

Final Grade: 8/10

Estra info: I  had tones of fun when playing this game, and I really hope that everyone will have it too!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Game Review: Dungeon Defenders.

Hello Readers! Today I'll be reviewing a tower defense game called Dungeon Defenders!

A bit about the game and developers.
Dungeon Defenders was developed and published by an indie company called Trendy Entertainment. They have no other game, just Dungeon Defenders, but they make sure that the game gets a lot of updates and becomes more and more fun!

About Gameplay. 
Dungeon Defenders is a first / third person tower defense game. You can zoom out camera to make the game look like a RTS, but that's kind of weird because you can't aim too well. You can also zoom in to the third person or to first person. So this game fits anyone's standards!

In DD you play a hero that you want to play. If you have no DLC's, you can chose from a Monk, Ranger, Warrior or an Apprentice (mage) but if you do have DLC's there's a lot more classes to chose from. My favorite is, yes you've guessed it right, a Jester. I'll be talking about some classes a little bit later. DD is a dungeon defense game with a story! You and the other 3 brave heroes (who are actually the people you play with. There are no NPC's here.) are on a mission to save your parents. To do that you need to go through a lot of various dungeons, bosses and so on and on. And you've guessed it, what's a dungeon based game without levels and equipment? There are various weapons and armors that you can find in chests or by enemy drops. Your weapon look changes to the one that you currently equip, but your look doesn't change by your armor change.

As I said, DD has a level system. Maximal level is 100 and it doesn't take you long to reach it if you know your way around. If you're lucky enough to have an OP friend with level 70 summoner and something like that berserker, you can level up fairy easily.  He power leveled me to the level 56! But I didn't see too much fun in that so we re-created our characters and started beating the game from beginning. In low levels almost any beaten dungeon gives you at least one level, if not even more. Once you level up you need to chose an attribute to give an attribute point to. Each hero has his / her own strengths and weakness. Warrior has great attack power, but his defense units are almost useless, while Apprentice's towers are very needed and reliable, his attack power is very weak. Therefore, for an apprentice you need to level up your tower's damage dealing even more so that you are the best of the best!

You can sell your stuff to earn Mana points, which you can then use to buy stuff in tavern. Stuff as little pets or weapons. Nothing better than what you can get while beating dungeons! You also get Mana by killing monsters. The Mana you get from monsters is used to summon defenses like towers, or traps or auras. Once the new wave starts, all the weapons that you were able to loot get sold and you get Mana into your "bank". If you end up going to a high level dungeon as I have, don't pick everything up that you see. Trust me, you'll regret it later. Just let the game sell stuff so you can get Mana. You can get your own equipment later!

As I've said earlier, there are various types of classes, and all are different. I haven't played many of them so I can't know much. Apprentice can summon tower defenses that shoot fireballs or something else at your opponents, no matter if they fly or walk. Monk is only useful at auras. He can make enemies move slower, and he can make you heal. Warrior is mainly good just at DPS and Ranger is fun at setting up traps, but kind of useless. I like the Ranger though.

Graphic and Audio
Graphic looks very cartoonish. It's unique for its genre, and it's very fun. It really brings the fantasy role playing element into the game. There are not many songs tho, so they do tend to get a bit boring after few hours of listening to them over and over again. But they are catchy, so don't wonder if you end up humming the song when playing another game.

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Very fun and addicting.
- A lot of various weapons to chose from.
- Many character classes and different looks.
- Small download file.

- Lags may occur in online play.
- No character customization.
- Very many DLC's which make the game cost over 150€ If bought separately

Final grade: 7/10

Extra info: If you've got few friends that you want to play games with, but you don't know what to play, then this game is just for you. This game will kill all the boredom that you have, and make you get addicted to it within first few rounds! Don't play solo tho, the game isn't as enjoyable without friends.