Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011

Well here's a summary of my picks for the Top 10 Gifts for a PC Gamer this X-mas:

  1. Battlefield 3
  2. Skyrim
  3. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  4. Serious Sam 3 BFE
  5. Need for Speed: The Run
  6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  7. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  8. Batman: Arkham City
  9. Minecraft
  10. Anno 2070

There's bound to be one here that your PC Gamer friend will enjoy. Are there any other recent games you think belong to this list?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #1 Battlefield 3

I've already started playing this and although it is a bit buggy, the game can be heaps of fun when playing with a squad of your mates - this is the strength of Battlefield ever since Battlefield 2. Rarely have I felt the camraderie of working in a squad as I have in the Battlefield series. Sure it's been diluted ever since
Battlefield Bad Company, but it still can be fun. Also recommended for any FPS players who prefer dedicated servers.

Choicest VGM - VGM #37 - Stunts - Main Menu

Continuing the rockin' music in Stunts (4D Sports Driving), here's the Main Menu Theme.

Thanks to Teppica who originally ripped these - this is how I remember the game music, played through a Sound Blaster 16.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #2 Skyrim

I've bought Skyrim but have yet to install the game! Suffice to say, this is one of the biggest releases this year and if your gift recipient is into first-person fantasy RPGs, especially if they've played previous Elder Scrolls games, this is not to be missed.

Choicest VGM - VGM #36 - Stunts - Introduction

Stunts, aka 4D Sports Driving, was one of my earliest favourites when it came to racing games. Not only did you get to race a variety of cars but you were also able to build your own stunt tracks (hence the name).

The game also had a rockin' soundtrack for the time.

Thanks to Teppica who originally ripped these - this is how I remember the game music, played through a Sound Blaster 16.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #3 Star Wars: The Old Republic

I was really hoping for a Knights of the Old Republic 3 but instead we got Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game sounds like it could truly be awesome for SW fans, especially for those who have dabbled in the KotoR universe. If I didn't have an aversion to paying subscription fees for games, I'd have given this a try. If your gift recipient likes MMOs, Star Wars and wouldn't mind paying a subscription fee, what are you waiting for?

Oh and the trailers have been awesome so far.

Choicest VGM - VGM #35 - Quest for Glory 1 - Closing Medley

Last track from QFG1 on Choicest VGM. This is the Closing Medley which incorporates many of the themes in the game and then has a segue into the next game's theme, Quest for Glory 2.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #4 Serious Sam 3 BFE

The early Serious Sam games hearkened to the days of old FPSs like Doom, where enemies weren't particularly smart and all they would do is swarm towards you from all directions. This is the only real flaw in the Serious Sam formula since if you can get past that, the game is hilarious, crazy and heaps of fun, especially when playing it co-op with a bunch of mates. I suspect Serious Sam 3 will be much the same.

Choicest VGM - VGM #34 - Quest for Glory 1 - Baron's Castle

A truly majestic theme fit for a baron, I especially like it when the lute starts playing about 30 seconds into the track.

Steam Autumn Sale now on!

Hurrah! It's another Steam sale... and so close to X-mas too (which makes me wonder if they're still going to have a Holiday Season sale?).

Anyway, there's some good offers to be had.

In terms of today's deals, if you want to buy a 2011 game, I'd thoroughly recommend Back to the Future at just $10 or Deus Ex: Human Revolution at $35.

In terms of older classics, you can't go past Serious Sam HD: Gold Edition at $4 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic at $5.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #5 Need for Speed: The Run

For those who like an arcade racing game with a bit of plot on the side, this game is for them. While most racing games advertise their realism, and other have no storyline whatsoever, this game will (hopefully) fill the niche.

Choicest VGM - VGM #33 - Quest for Glory 1 - Freeing the Baronet

Admittedly this is probably too short to be used as a bona fide track, but it does bring back memories of the cutscene played once you free the Baronet from his curse.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #6 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare's single-player is often cited as the benchmark for an immersive and well-scripted FPS campaign. I suspect the third in the series will be no different. For those that like to jump straight into action in multiplayer without worrying about dedicated servers, this is the game for them.

Choicest VGM - VGM #32 - Quest for Glory 1 - Kobold Cave

This track plays when you enter a mysterious and foreboding cave where a kobold happens to live. The kobold is probably the first major villain you are expected to defeat in Quest for Glory.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #7 Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Another game I've never played although everyone keeps telling me I should. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and considering so many of my gamer friends, with quite different tastes says it's good, there's a high chance whoever you buy this game for will like it too.

Choicest VGM - VGM #31 - Quest for Glory 1 - Goblin Camp and Dryad

A short track with a combo of two very different themes. One is used at the Goblin Camp and the other when meeting the Dryad. The Dryad theme always reminds me of Forever Autumn as part of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (video below).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #8 Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham Asylum, predecessor to this game, was critically acclaimed and highly recommended by a couple of my friends. It looks like its sequel is no different. If your gift recipient is a fan of Batman or enjoys dishing out some vigilante justice, this is the game for them.

Choicest VGM - VGM #30 - Quest for Glory 1 - Fairy Ring

If you ventured in the forests during the night in Quest for Glory 1, you would have come across a ring of magical mushrooms inhabited by fairies. Be warned though, although they may seem like harmless fairies, they will force you to dance if you make them angry, even to death if you're not careful!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #9 Minecraft

Okay, I know Minecraft has been out for awhile but apparently the full version was released today (or was it yesterday)? Anyway, it's been released very recently - the full version - whatever that means.

I've actually dabbled a bit in the Minecraft beta but could never get into it. I can appreciate why it would be fun though since it's effectively playing with Lego, letting your imagination run riot and allowing you to build whatever
your heart desires. I've seen 1:1 Starship Enterprise replicas, giant cities, even a working giant in-game guitar. So for the creative and patient sorts out there, I suspect Minecraft could be very rewarding and they could do a lot worse than checking it out.

Choicest VGM - VGM #29 - Quest for Glory 1 - 'Enry the 'Ermit

Yes this guy talked a lot, but he actually had quite a bit of useful information. The perfect music to play when listening to an old hermit yammer on about the happenings of the Spielburg Valley - amazing how much he knows really, considering he is a hermit after all...

Friday, November 18, 2011

From Dust Review

The first thing that piqued my interest when reading about From Dust is that the game was created by a gaming legend, namely Eric Chahi. Most of you are probably too young to remember Another World (also known as Out of this World in the States) but the game was truly revolutionary for its time. Released back in 1991, the game was made almost entirely by Chahi himself (a far cry from the army of developers used to create AAA titles nowadays). The graphics and atmosphere were ahead of its time and the game was as a result critically acclaimed.

Fast forward to 20 years later (now I feel old!) and we have another game that dares to break the mould. Does Eric Chahi have another instant classic on his hands?

Plot (4/5)
There isn’t a really deep story here but since there aren’t many games that allow you to be a God of a Pacific Islander culture, it wins points for being unique.

Gameplay (3/5)
The best way to describe From Dust is that it’s a mixture of Lemmings and Populous:
Like Populous, you have god-like powers at your command, being able to lift water, earth, lava and vegetation, and place them wherever you like. Like Lemmings, your goal for each level is to secure a safe route to the exit for your minions (who are villagers instead of lemmings). Lose too many villagers to drowning or being burned to a crisp, and it’s game over.

So From Dust is essentially a puzzle game where you co-operate with your villagers to tame the world of its hazards and eventually create a safe way for them to reach an ominous tunnel (which leads to the next level). Before you reach this tunnel however, you’re required to colonise new settlements and you can only do so at totems. Sometimes, these totems are situated in really stupid places (like in the middle of a volcano) so this is where it starts to become challenging. Vegetation such as “water trees” can help you stop any forest fires that break out from any lava flows, protecting your villages from being burned down, but then it may have to worry about flooding instead.

Building settlements at the totems may seem more trouble than its worth, but doing so will unlock extra powers that enhance your ability to sculpt the terrain. Amplify Breath for example, allows you to collect more earth, water or lava, Infinite Earth allows you to create sand out of thin air, and Evaporate lowers the water level across the entire map. Also, by building these settlements you are able to have a village elder bring back knowledge – the most important being Repel Water in my opinion; this ability allows the villagers to protect themselves from flooding and tsunamis.

The combination of puzzle-solving and possessing God-like powers makes the game fun – in fact I’ve probably not had this kind of fun since playing Populous II. The only reason the game doesn’t get a higher score however is that interacting with the villagers can sometimes be a chore – so much so that you may be shouting at your screen when they keep hollering at you to smoothen a hill so they don’t need to climb up it. Or because they’ve been washed away to a rock and they need a way back to the main island. As you can imagine, having ten or more of these villagers crying for your help at the same time can get quite annoying.

Also, annoying AI aside, the game is actually rather easy and I was only really challenged on a couple of the latter levels.

Sound (4/5)
Sound in this game is of a minimalist nature. Background noises consist of things you would hear in an archipelago; villagers talking and going about their business, the thunder of volcanoes erupting, and the sound of rushing, giant walls of water wiping your villages into the ocean.

Your villagers give different shouts to alert you when they’re in need of attention, usually because they’re unable to get to their destination or when they’re screaming because their huts are on fire. It’s also reassuring to hear the sound of didgeridoos playing since this means your villagers are using divine powers to protect their homes from tsunamis.

Music (4/5)
No complaints with the music – there’s actually not much in terms of music besides the inter-level cutscene which is appropriately cinematic and fills you with wonder.

Graphics (4/5)
The graphics are quite exceptional in this game considering you’re able to zoom in right down on your villagers, yet also zoom out and view the entire island they live on. Watching the volcanoes create new islands right before your eyes is fascinating and the water effects are beautiful. The only criticism I have (and this is thanks to the game being a console port) is there is no anti-aliasing so the graphics may seem to have one too many jagged edges.

Replay (3/5)
Replay value is a decade or two behind the times. You only get a few levels to complete before the game is already over. Depending on other secondary quests you do within the levels (e.g. retrieving artifacts or populating the entire island with trees) you are able to unlock extra tidbits of game lore; however it’s not really enough to warrant a second playthrough of the campaign in my opinion.

Finishing the levels does unlock some extra challenge maps which are fun distractions but again there aren’t that many and you’ll likely complete them very quickly.

Polish (4/5)
While I didn’t experience any serious issues while playing From Dust, I still chose not to give a perfect score for polish. Yes, I’m aware there was some furore when Ubisoft apparently went back on its word and included its draconian DRM scheme (which requires you to be online all the time) but most of the anger was directed at Ubisoft breaking their promise. I’m not going to debate whether that is the case or not, but the fact remains that you are being required to login to play what is effectively a single-player game. There aren’t even any online achievements to justify the need to have an online presence!

Score - 7/10

A short but cheap game for the puzzle fans and megalomaniacs.

If you want to get the game, you can get it off Steam.

If you like this game, you might like...

Choicest VGM - VGM #28 - Quest for Glory 1 - Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, which is a witch from European folklore, also happens to be the main antagonist in Quest for Glory 1. She is selfish and a great lover of food, which actually enables you to get out of a nasty pickle if you accidentally visit her a first time.

Anyway, here are the tracks that play when you're outside her hut and also inside it. Both are appropriately menacing.

Top 10 X-mas Gifts for a PC Gamer 2011 - #10 Anno 2070

Since it's not long to go until X-mas, I thought I'd run with a Top 10 X-mas Gifts article but for a PC Gamer. Now I haven't played all the games on the following list so it'll be a combination of the games I have played and think are worthwhile, and also games that I've heard are hotly anticipated, by friends and the press.

Also, all of the games are either scheduled for release before X-mas or have been released in the past couple of months - so they will all be fairly new.

Coming in at number 10 on the list is Anno 2070. I haven't actually played any of the Anno series but judging by how many titles there are, it must be pretty popular. Definitely one to look out for if your gift recipient is into trading simulations.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Choicest VGM - VGM #27 - Quest for Glory 1 - Erana's Peace

Ah Erana's Peace - a tranquil, peaceful haven where your hero can rest safe in the knowledge he won't be eaten by a monster! It's appropriate then that the location in the game has probably one of the most beautiful tracks in PC gaming history. If you don't believe me, you should check out some of the covers that are hovering around YouTube.

Here's one of my favourites:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Choicest VGM - VGM #26 - Quest for Glory 1 - Stable Work

It wasn't exactly heroic, but a hero's got to start from somewhere! While you didn't earn that much from cleaning the stable, it was at least a non-violent means of generating income - a good way for new heroes to get enough gold to buy some basic equipment. If I recall correctly, it also helped beef up some of your stats too as you were doing exercise.

This track is the music that plays when you're working hard in the stable. I believe this is the VGA version one though - I don't remember this many embellishments to the theme!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Choicest VGM - VGM #25 - Quest for Glory 1 - Battle Theme 2

A fast-paced, frenetic version of the normal QFG battle theme. You know you're really in for a tough fight when you hear this one!

You know you play too many PC First Person Shooters...

... when your keyboard starts looking like this one. There's even shallow grooves scratched into a couple of the keys!

Still works though :).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Choicest VGM - VGM #24 - Quest for Glory 1 - Battle Theme 1

Every QFG1 fan will recognise this tune... unless they never managed to leave the confines of the town of Spielburg. Every time you encountered a saurus, a goblin, well, any of the standard monsters in the forest, you'd have this music to get the adrenaline pumping.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guild Wars 2 - Cutscenes

Cutscenes are looking pretty spiffy in this iteration. In fact, they look a lot similar to the cutscenes they were proposing in Diablo III...

Guild Wars 2 - Character Customisation

Looks like Guild Wars 2 will have some improved character customisation options according to this video and is now more in line with games like the Sims 2. Along with the traditional options you get in the original Guild Wars, it looks like you can now change your physique, facial hair and facial features.

Choicest VGM - VGM #23 - Quest for Glory 1 - Thief

One of the aspects I loved about Quest for Glory is that depending on which class you played, not only did you have different ways of approaching quests, but you had different areas you could explore. This was especially true of the thief who was able to visit the Thieves Guild and also rob houses.

Here's the jazzy number you hear while you're robbing the aforementioned houses...

GOG Contest

Good Old Games (GOG) is running a contest this weekend where you can win some free games! The current contest challenge is to solve a word puzzle and then e-mail your answer to their contest e-mail address.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Response to the "Battlefield Effect"

I was reading an article posted on the Screen Play blog recently posted by a Peter Zaluzny. I thought I'd give my two cents concerning Peter's key points:

- Peter was happy while queueing up to buy MW3 since for the first time in months he wasn't "subject to attacks from Battlefield 3 fans"
Good for Peter.

- Peter says the quality of Battlefield 3 "has created a phenomenon which can only really be described as embarrassing." He calls this "the Battlefield Effect"
He goes into more depth of what he means further in the article.

- Peter acknowledges trolling between rival games occur but apparently BF3 players "take this to another level, throwing slander at MW3 players..."
But I thought that's what trolling meant...

- Peter says "according to many BF3 players" if you purchase MW3 you are buying a "terrible game" and are therefore "a terrible person".
I wouldn't say many BF3 players do this. As some have commented on Peter's article, a vocal minority is usually the one giving the rest a bad name and this applies for BF3 too.

- Peter says that "DICE has managed to create a fan base that has made it their personal duty to go online and slander MW3 players"
Well that's a bit rich, blaming DICE for creating a fan base that slanders MW3 players? How do they do that? By giving you extra unlocks for the amount of trolling you do?

- Peter defines the Battlefield Effect as the idea that "purchasing a popular game such as MW3" means you're "pandering to the mainstream, while those who play BF3 are in a sort of exclusive club."
In terms of numbers, there's no doubt that Call of Duty is the much more successful (and hence popular) franchise. As of 2009, Call of Duty has sold 55 million copies. The Battlefield franchise, as of 2008, has sold 17 million. Both would have sold a lot more since then but it's quite likely that Call of Duty is in the lead.

I do agree that it's a bit silly to think you're somehow in an "exclusive club" if you play BF3 since it's not exactly a small indie game with about 1,000 people playing it. This is a game with millions of players just like the Call of Duty games.

- Peter says thanks to the Battlefield Effect we now have a new gamer category on our hands, "that of the non-gamer who plays games".
I think what Peter is trying to say here is that BF3 fans are calling MW3 players "non-gamers". I've seen a lot of trolling of MW3 but I've never seen the comment that MW3 players are "non-gamers". Peter goes on to mention that these "non-gamers" are people from both sides of the divide who have bought BF3 or MW3 just to see what the hype was about - sure that probably does happen.

- Peter goes on to say that "the Battlefield Effect has embarrased [him] as a gamer". He thinks it's sufficient evidence to drop the terms "hardcore gamer" and "casual gamer".
I don't see how dropping the terms hardcore gamer and casual gamer will change anything, since then each camp would be calling each other n00bs or campers or lamers or hackers, etc. It's trolling, it's the nature of the Internet (and I've probably just set myself up for some.... trololololol)

In summary, Peter feels that MW3 players are being victimised by the immature BF3 crowd who feels the need to increase their e-peen with trolling. Sure there's probably some doing that but it's unfair to label the majority of BF3 fans as part of some conspiracy founded by DICE to bring MW3 down. My gaming history encompasses three Call of Duty titles and I enjoyed them all - however since I prefer an emphasis on squad combat, large maps and vehicles, I prefer Battlefield 3 over Call of Duty, and those are the facts. Let us not bring a sensationalist agenda to the table please!

Battlefield theme remix

This is a particularly awesome Battlefield theme remix by a professional musician. It's so good that some Youtubers have tried to pass it off as the official Battlefield 3 theme.

I actually wish they did include this track as part of the official soundtrack as this epic rock track would feel right at home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Choicest VGM - VGM #22 - Quest for Glory 1 - Zara's Magic Shop

Zara was one powerful magic user you did not want to mess with! The music was appropriately ominous and creepy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012

Now that I've gone through all my picks for the 10 most anticipated PC games of 2012, I've decided to summarise them in this post. Be sure to comment on what you really look forward to in 2012!

  1. Mass Effect 3
  2. Diablo III
  3. Guild Wars 2
  4. XCOM
  5. Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
  6. Syndicate
  7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  8. Dota 2
  9. War of the Roses
  10. Scrolls

Oh a special mention should go to Jagged Alliance: Back in Action. I have no idea how it escaped my Top 10 list but it did :).

Skyrim Soundtrack

For those fans of Jeremy Soule or just quality VGM in general, they should definitely check out the Skyrim soundtrack. Apparently directsong (Jeremy Soule's online store which sells DRM-free tracks) is selling a special physical 4-CD Skyrim Soundtrack for $30. After shipping and handling, that maybe quite expensive for those of us here in Australia, but I'm quite tempted to get it - especially considering if you pre-order before Christmas, the soundtrack will be hand-signed by the great composer himself! Definitely worth considering.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012 - #1 Mass Effect 3

1. Mass Effect 3

Why it might be good:
  • Bioware have a great track record with this series so far.
  • Apparently it has just about all the characters from the previous games and then some.
  • Once again, actions you made in previous games will customise your story.
  • Apparently DICE were brought aboard to help with the combat in the game. If it's more like an FPS that can only be a good thing
Why it might be bad:
  • If it introduces DLC which should've been included in the main plot *cough* Lair of the Shadow Broker *cough* I'll be one unhappy chappy
  • Remains to be seen if the multiplayer is integrated well with the main game or it's just a wasted distraction
Release Date:
6 Mar 2012

Choicest VGM - VGM #21 - Quest for Glory 1 - Introduction & Character Creation

And now onto a game where almost every track that is included is my favourite. I spent a long time in the world of Quest for Glory, I mean who doesn't want to be a hero? Okay, maybe villains, but I'm sure most of us have fantasised about being a hero when we were younger; Quest for Glory is one of those games that allows you to pursue just that (in a comical manner I might add). It was also a pretty interesting game for its time, blending the adventure game and CRPG genres

The first track we have for QFG1 is, of course, the dramatic introduction theme, that includes the recognisable Hero's Fanfare. This is followed by the character creation music which is also used for the Brigand Camp.

Monday, November 7, 2011

10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012 - #2 Diablo III

2. Diablo III

Why it might be good:
  • Diablo III is to the Diablo series what Starcraft II is to the Starcraft series: it's one of the most anticipated games ever
  • Experience the dark fantasy world of Sanctuary once again, where angels are at war with demons.
  • Blizzard are known for releasing well polished games (although it must be said that Starcraft II wasn't exactly up to their usual standard)
  • The runestone concept sounds choice. You get to modify your abilities and even their appearance through the use of runestones.
  • Followers which are similar to Heroes in Guild Wars.
  • PvP arenas which are similar to Guild Wars.
Why it might be bad:
  • The new graphical style may not appeal to the hardcore fans of the original two games
  • Potions now have a cooldown which is different to the previous games where you can quaff them like there's no tomorrow. Remains to be seen how this will affect gameplay.
  • The Auction House sounds like a sneaky way of introducing micro-transactions for the game.
  • No Matt Uelmen to score the soundtrack
Release Date:
Q1 2012

Choicest VGM - VGM #20 - Space Quest III - The Black Hole

For the last Space Quest III VGM on the list we have the music played when Roger Wilco enters the Black Hole - and what a strange ending we have on the other side!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Battlefield 3 signatures

Don't like the BF3 signatures on offer but don't have the time (or patience) to create one from scratch? Well enjin seems to have the middle ground where you're able to customise some of the graphical details of the signature (like avatar, colours and backgrounds) and are still able to play around with some of the stats too.

My only gripe is you can't have Top Weapon AND Top Vehicle on the signature but guess you can't have everything :).

Choicest VGM - VGM #19 - Space Quest III - Monolith Burger

Ah Monolith Burger, a thinly veiled parody of the global fast food restaurant, McDonalds. The reference was so popular that not only was it featured in future games of the series but it was also featured in other Sierra games, namely Jones in the Fast Lane.

Starcraft 2 - Heart of the Swarm pricing

There still seems to be some confusion about the pricing of Heart of the Swarm - the only thing for certain though is it doesn't sound good at the moment.

While early comments by Blizzard said they were going to charge it as they would an expansion pack, it seems that their current comments have become more vague.

A quick check on some game retailer sites (mainly Australian) reveals the following prices:

- = N/A
- EB = $58
- GAME = $88
- JB Hi-fi = N/A

EB's price is confusing since it's in-between the price of an expansion and the full price for A-grade games. GAME looks like it's charging full price for it (although you're actually unable to pre-order at the moment so it could be a placeholder).

I'll probably begrudgingly pay for it since I really enjoy the single-player, although for those who just really play the multiplayer, you'll probably feel a bit ripped-off. Hopefully the prices go down closer to release

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The History of Battlefield

Pretty well made video about the history of the Battlefield series by Gamerspawn.

Some interesting facts I've learnt:

- Battlefield 1942 actually had a predecessor called "Codename: Eagle"
- Even Battlefield 1942 was buggy on release (like it successors it seems!)
- Trauma Studios that developed the BF1942 mod Desert Combat and Battlefield 2 were bought for a paltry $500,000...
- ...and were dissolved shortly before Battlefield 2's release.
- I miss Commander mode
- 10 million copies of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 have been sold making it the best-selling game in the Battlefield franchise to date.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012 - #3 Guild Wars 2

3. Guild Wars 2

Why it might be good:
  • It's still subscription-free!
  • Now you get to play as different races
  • Each of your characters can have a tailored background story that offers different perks/benefits
  • Jeremy Soule is back to score the soundtrack
Why it might be bad:
  • It's taking a long time to release the game. While it's good to have a polished game, they can't afford to wait too long unless they want to risk the game being obsolete on release.
  • Arenanet are taking a lot of risks re-defining the MMORPG genre. I for one applaud it, but will it work? And will they convince others to give it a go?
Release Date:
2012 (Closed Alpha and Beta have apparently started)

Choicest VGM - VGM #18 - Space Quest III - Introduction

For me, Space Quest III probably had the most memorable of the Space Quest soundtracks. This was the first of the Space Quests where they were starting to get serious about the soundtrack. In fact, if Wikipedia is to be believed, Bob Siebenberg, who composed music for Space Quest III, was the first major artist to compose original music for a video game. There you go folks - and the year? 1989.

The Introduction track is energetic and fast-paced; it really gets you in the mood for another adventure as the galaxy's greatest janitor, Roger Wilco.

If Quake was done today

A pretty hilarious and somewhat accurate reflection on the state of the FPS genre.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012 - #4 XCOM


Why it might be good:
  • It's XCOM! That means you get to be part of a team dedicated to fighting the alien threat.
  • Not many games would have you using Grease guns against aliens!
  • The developers are at least capturing many elements from the original such as researching new technologies and squad member experience giving benefits
Why it might be bad:
  • Like Syndicate, remains to be seen if changing the genre to FPS will make or break the game.
  • The abilities you get seem arcade-like unlike the focus of previous XCOMs that focused on realism and hard sci-fi.
  • Campaign seems more linear than the previous X-COM games.
  • Unsure if there is any management or strategy at all. Part of the fun of X-COM was ensuring that your financial backers were happy enough with your progress to continue your funding. Also you were able to construct bases around the world and purchase which vehicles to use.
Release Date:
Q2 2012

Choicest VGM - VGM #17 - Prince of Persia - Introduction

Before we move onto the first two games in Choicest VGM with quite a comprehensive soundtrack (i.e. more than two tracks that I like) let us visit a game that was ground-breaking for its time. I'm of course talking about Prince of Persia. You got to avoid traps, swordfight guards and rescue the princess (provided you survived long enough and got to her in time - that's right, there's a time limit).