Archive Page 2

07
May
08

Why There’s No Updates Right Now

I thought I’d put up a message a few days ago, but apparently not. It’s exam-season for me right now, so I’m concentrating on revision, which means I don’t have much free time at the moment. Plus, when I do, I want to spend it away from my room where I’ve been cooped up reading all day, rather than on the PC.

My last exam’s on the 15th, so hopefully should be back to normal after that.

27
Apr
08

Sunday Catch-Up#2: Good Gaming Friday: System Shock

“L-look at you h-hackers, a p-p-pathetic creature of m-meat and b-bones…”

No, I haven’t suddenly turned into Gareth Gates, that’s the near infamous line quoted to you during the Sound Test part of the install to an all-time PC classic that nobody bought:

System Shock – PC (DOS)

System Shock is a name many PC gamers might know, a cult classic from 1994, that brought so many new ideas to PC gaming, that the reason it flopped sales-wise is still a mystery. The game itself is a first-person action/adventure game. If you want it that way. Or it could be a first-person shooter. Or a purely puzzle-based first-person adventure. One of the innovations System Shock included was the ability to assign four ‘levels’ to different aspects of the game, such as Puzzles and Combat. A ‘1’ would practically remove it from the game, for instance in Combat, enemies would ignore you, and be killable in one hit. A ‘4’ in Puzzles would give you the hardest variations of the puzzles available and set a time-limit on the game.

The reason for a potential time-limit is that the game is set on the Citadel space station orbiting Earth, circa 2072. The rogue AI, which you helped to remove the ethics-restrictions on, SHODAN, has taken over the station, killed or zombified the inhabitants, and plans to strike the Earth with the station’s giant mining laser. Thus, it’s up to you to thwart SHODAN, and also to survive.

The environment is rendered in full-3D, in comparison to Doom II’s 2.5D graphics, which allows you to perform a variety of actions not found in most games of the time, such as looking up and down, climbing surfaces, crouching and leaning, and more. There was even mouse-based aiming, numerous amounts of digital speech, and high-resolution graphics.

Look! Real 3D! Take that Doom…and your sweet, sweet deathmatch and..oh, yes, System Shock forever!

So, aside from the technical marvels, what makes System Shock so fun to play? Darting from corridor to corridor, low on effective ammunition, SHODAN contacting and taunting you at every step, the game is an early example of the survial horror, except viewed from a first-person perspective. It’s hard to beat the adrenaline rush the game can give you at times, and the, using an ominous-looking headset, the gameplay changes entirely, as you get sent into cyberspace.

The Internet: Apparently it *is* actually a series of tubes.

The cyberspace areas of the game can best be described as a wireframe version of another PC classic, Descent. Without wanting to spoil the plot of the game, I advise getting used to the different controls, as cyberspace is used to open locked doors and the like, as well as combat certain enemies. And yes, the plot. Unravelled over time via the personal logs you find dotted around the space station, you get to follow the last days of the crew of the Citadel, hearing their panicked voices contemplate what’s to come, and how they try to figure a way to defeat SHODAN, and was a device picked up in System Shock 2, and of course, the spiritual successor to the series, Bioshock.

You can also zoom the playing screen to full-size to remove that pesky inventory. Who needs health when you have a laser-gun?

Overall, System Shock is a game that needs to played not just because it shows how far PC games have really come in the past 14 years, which aside from advances in graphics, is not very much, but also because it’s cracking good fun to play as well.

Pros: Amazing content, even for today. One of the best computer-game villains ever.

Cons: Outdated graphics, one annoying platform jumping section near the beginning, tricky to get running on modern PCs.

27
Apr
08

Sunday Catch-Up #1: Extremis Upgrade

So, had a busy couple of days, as usual for the end of the week, though more than usual due to exams on Thursday and Friday.  Saturday evening was taken up by Doctor Who and a work night out, so it’s up to today to make up for what we’ve missed. The first being this lovely piece of equipment, courtesy of Soshi Kenpachi over at his Tek Upgrade blog:

Wait a second…I’ve seen that before somewhere…

Anyhows, enough of that silliness, and on to the mini-review, as Mr Kenpachi has gone into it in almost as much depth as the card can possibly have discussed about it. A 0-cost, non-unique, concealed-optional, stun-remover is pretty darn nice. In order to offset that rather nice effect, it’s character-stamped to Dickhe.. Iron Man. Of course, as I’ve digressed with all of the character-stamped plot twists and locations so far, it’s an ample card for Mystique, Shapely Shifter to use and abuse.

With the upcoming metagame likely to involve a lot of Hulk beatdown decks, having Mystique up front, and non-stunning (and thus, not receiving breakthrough as well) will mean a much tougher time for your opponent to try and finish the game at Turn 4/5, the time Mystique is able to come into play.  Of course, there’s only going to a maximum of four of these cards in your deck, so they need to be used sparingly, but coupled with Iron Man’s other legend-content revealed this week, Stark Armory, you’re much more guaranteed to be able to accrue those +1/+1 counters, and thus beef up Mystique to avoid too much of a beating in the later turns. There’s also the fact that your opponent is going to be forced into tactical decisions of when to use cards such as Righteous Anger, as recovering Hulk to attack again may be a waste if the person he’s attacking can just avoid being stunned.

Actually, it looks like Iron Man could be a rather potent character for Marvel Universe. Shame he’s a di…rector of S.H.I.E.L.D.

24
Apr
08

Just When You Thor-t It Was All Army Characters…

So, we’ve had two previews come up now, the first being the real version of the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier:

Not pictured: This Helicarrier is in fact on it’s side having been hacked again, and speeding towards the ground.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t crash and burn into New York City like it should do, but I think we can just about forgive it, due to that rather tasty card-text. Popping three of your S.H.I.E.L.D Agents/ 2 Agents & Squirrel Girl back into your hand, which makes them ready to recruit all over again is a small price to pay for the ability to attack the support row, and have that sometimes-vital +2 ATK, whilst the card is safe and sound of course.

The cost may seem slightly restrictive, but on Turn 3, you can flip this card over once there’s three resources, pick up your 3-cost combination of past characters, and then recruit them all over again for endurance burn, saving you some characters for later turns. Let’s not forget Squirrel Girl allows you place a 1-cost S.H.I.E.L.D Army character into play alongside her, which means you’ll potentially have 6 endurance burn for the start of the turn, as well as the extra character on the board. It’s a small bonus, but I’ve learnt never to turn my nose up at the small bonuses.

The next card is:

Is it really smart to wear a metal helmet during a lightning storm if you’re a robot?

An odd card this one. The effect in the card-text doesn’t really scream “7-drop” to me. And to be honest, by Turn 7, you shouldn’t, in my opinion, have a very large hand. At this stage in the game, most Plot Twists should be spent, characters used for +1/+1 boosts etc. So, this card to me has rather limited potential, especially as it’s not all the cards you discard, but just the S.H.I.E.L.D characters you discard that go towards the ‘X’ amount.

From the looks of things, S.H.I.E.L.D will have two strategies to play around with; the off-curve swarm, and a more standard on-curve featuring the ‘big names’, as I have no doubt Nick Fury will see at least one other version, and Iron Man’s down for legend status, so I’d guess a 6-drop as well at the very least.

We’ll just have to wait until tomorrow’s preview to see how things pan out, so adios for now.

23
Apr
08

Whilst We Wait…

…for today’s preview, which is coming from The Fallout Shelter guys over at VS Realms, I thought I’d speculate on what today’s card could be:

It could be, you never know. 😉

22
Apr
08

This Set Is Going To Be Goddamn Amazing

Some teasers about the set after Marvel Universe have emerged online, and rather than explain it in an inefficient manner, here’s the announcement from Vssystem.com:

VsSystem Update: Marvel Evolution
By David Humpherys
4/22/2008

Following the June release of Marvel Universe, the next Vs. System expansion will hit streets in November of this year.

We have been in ongoing discussions with DC Comics to expand our licensing category, and instead of delaying the release of our next set, we’ve decided to deviate from our alternating release schedule. As a result, the upcoming release of Marvel Evolution will mark the first major, back-to-back Marvel launch.

Marvel Evolution will revolve heavily around this past year’s Messiah Complex, the fan-favorite storyline that ran through all the “X” titles. Expect to see the long-awaited debut of X-Factor, X-Force, and Mr. Sinister’s Marauders. Characters from across the dimensional divide are also set to make appearances later this year. Like Marvel Legends, DC Comics Legends, and Marvel Universe, Marvel Evolution will include multiple legendary characters, such as Cyclops, Gambit, Deadpool, and many others—including some teen guest stars!

Marvel Evolution continues in the same vein as recent releases and will contain increased content. Featuring 275 cards in the same rarity distribution as the Legends sets, Marvel Evolution will introduce several new mechanics, including the keywords Shift and Energize, bringing with them new ways to play and use your favorite characters.

This may be my first ever case-buying of VS System cards I do. I’m so freaking pumped by this news, it’s unbelievable. It’s practically everything I’ve wanted from past sets rolled into one, and I really can’t see this being a bad set at all.

I love yooooooou UDE.

22
Apr
08

Worst Deck Idea Ever

Ahem…

60 x S.H.I.E.L.D Agents.

I then remembered that you only draw so many cards a round, and this wouldn’t work, but the premise is like this:

Every time you recruit one, your opponent loses 2 endurance. So let’s look at the maths:

Turn 1: 2 Endurance

Turn 2: 4 Endurance (6 Total)

Turn 3: 6 Endurance (12 Total)

Turn 4: 8 Endurance (20 Total)

Turn 5: 10 Endurance (30 Total)

Turn 6: 12 Endurance (42 Total)

Turn 7: 14 Endurance (56 Total)

So, with seven turns of gameplay, you could whittle your opponent down to 0 endurance, without ever entering into combat. You’d always have more characters than them by Turn 3 or 4, and can simply reinforce with no problem. Finally, you’ll never miss your drop.

So, what’s needed is to add into the fray a way to get cards into your hand as quick as possible, by Turn 4, as that’s when you start to drastically get diminishing returns. Something like Birthing Chamber would help, as would Damocles Base.

There’s some danger to be had from Scarecrow, Chiroptophobic, but whilst that reduces board presence to nothing, it also fills my hand up again, ready to place the cards into play again.

Once I have more of a concrete idea of what cards are in Marvel Universe, I’ll be sure to come back to this, as it seems like a great win-condition to pull on an unsuspecting opponent.