March 20, 2011 : 10:29 AM
Dragon Age 2 Review
I did a trade in yesterday and picked up Dragon Age 2. It was between this and Fight Night and I thought the guys in the office would rather play this in their spare time.
Here's a very quick review.
For context: I have played and really liked Mass Effect 2 but never played Dragon Age 1. I was a huge Final Fantasy Fan on the PS1 and I'm a fan of the Assassins Creed series. This is my gaming creds.
What I liked
- I bought it for $28 with the trade in
- It has Dragons in it (well I've killed one large one in the first 9 hrs)
- It hasn't crashed on me
- It's fun to totally smash big groups of people and the battle mechanics are enjoyable.
What I didn't like
- The voice acting is fucking terrible. In IGN's review they said it was "one of the hall marks of a Bio Ware game is that the voice acting is great". These are the same people who think the Transformers gave a moving performance. The voices either lack any emotion are cliché and ruin the experience. It's like everyone has aspergers syndrome. But that's being kind. They have "Keanu Reeves Syndrome"
If anyone disagrees then go play with your dog in your house and tell me that the simple acting task of "say something nice to your dog" is a complete fail for the main voice actor (male)
- To make the voices worse there is a lot of boring ass talking. I've started to skip all of it. Yay for B button. I realised I listened to all of Assassins Creeds story points but 5% of these.
- The missions are boring! Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood had so many mission types you really felt like you were on an adventure. FPS break things up by letting you drive a tank of fly in a robot suit. Final Fantasy gave us little mini games but Dragon Age 2 gives you the same shit over and over. Just bigger enemies. I'm 9 hrs in (speedy 9 hrs as I skipped most of the dialogue) and all I've done is attack and collect. A band of kick ass delivery guys picking up shit from one area and giving it to some random NPC for 50 silver coins. We need a run fast button as 25% of the game is walking around to the next story point.
What's worse is all the levels look the same. IGN said this and I thought "that's because they are looking for it, it can't be that bad" but it is. It's a copy and paste job and get any level designer from Bio Ware drunk and they will tell you. "Oh yeah I dialled that fucker in for shizzle" (note Bio Ware people swear and use hip hop references when drunk)
The more I think about it the more I don't like the game. My hopes were too high and I think Mass Effect with it's sci-fi story had much more latitude to do interesting things with the story and the mission types.
Posted at March 20, 2011 : 10:29 AM
September 29, 2009 : 9:32 PM
I Love Raptr
If only there was a service like this for my other media consumption. Tracking my usage on a console is an insight into the ROI of a game and a way to compare myself against friends.
If this existed when I used to play my Sega Mega Drive every night and weekend I'd having something to show for all those lost hours.
Posted at September 29, 2009 : 9:32 PM
June 7, 2009 : 1:31 PM
Lean Pockets Quesadilla Breaks
And if you think that's a lot of games we have two more for Marvel done but not live and another multi-player game that involved shooting chickens. You could say "shooting at your cock" but that would be rude and in poor taste. We're also starting work on 2 more for various clients now.
So yeah it's been game central at Soap lately but the quality and level of games we have been producing is better than we have ever done before. I look back at the games I made in 2000 and laugh. Although I still think Bogan Surf is a classic.
Posted at June 7, 2009 : 1:31 PM
Civil War Online for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
The biggest game Soap has ever worked on is now live. Civil War Online is a turn based multiplayer game which launched as part of the site for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 which falls under our HeroHQ site we built for Activision for all their Marvel games.
This is a small dream come true for me as when I was in highscool I played Heroes of Might & Magic the game all the time. And the best part was the battles. Civil War Online took inspiration from this. It's also our second multiplayer game we have made. The first being Biggest Battle in History for Night at the Museum 2. The good thing about CWO is that the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 community we have is very active. And since the game launched 2 days ago we have had over 3,000 battles. Considering the shorted battle we have recorded is 3 min and the longest 1hr with an average of 12 min for each battle that's quite amazing. Every time I login I see between 20-70 people online battling away.
We still have a couple of bugs in the game which we are fixing which is understandable for such a complicated game.
The game also works on 2 levels.
1: 1 vs 1 battles: This is the main game. You battle another person with your team of 4 Marvel Superheroes
2: Pro vs Anti: each battle is part of the Pro-Registration and Anti-Registration sides. Which ever team controls the most grid positions on the battle world wins the round.
We took inspiration from Tom Clancy's End War for this one. Rather than just having your battle mean only something to you, your battle is now part of a greater war. Picking where you battle is also a strategic choice. You want to control the map so battling on a position which is dominated by the other team is a waste. Choosing a neutral or even position is the way to win. It seems the Anti side are less strategic with their choice as they are losing bad this round (rounds reset every week) but in terms of overall battles are not far behind.
We also got to make a sexy PV3D world map. Although we failed in creating a Earth representation in hexagons that easily wraps to a sphere. We had to change it to a generic grid just days before live.
We also did something sneaky to the MUA2 community. Initial forum chatter was heavily weighted towards the Anti-Reg side. So before we asked the community to choose a side we threw them a curve ball. We offered 500 hero points to the users who sided with Iron-Man and the pro side. Not only is this true to the comic book story but it also convinced some of the heavy hitters in the community to switch sides. It also generated lots of talk and debate which is exactly what we wanted.
I've had a blast working on HeroHQ as Ive found comic gamer fans to be the most passionate and active people on the web. They really get into it and are really appreciative of our efforts. I've never been thanked/praised so much for doing work from a community before.
The added benefit is that we have learnt so much as a company from HeroHQ as to what works and what doesnt when running a community and forum of this size. We now have 10,000 members who have posted over 220,000 times on the forum. That's in 4 months! We now get over 50,000 posts to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 part of the forum a month.
The previous game had 30,000 members who contributed 120,000 posts over the entire campaign so we are punching above our weight right now.
I look forward to seeing the community grow as we get closer to the release date in September 09. Having a 6-7 month lead up to a release has been an interesting one. Considering the first MUA game is 3 years old now it's surprising how much traction this has gotten.
Oh and if you want to say hi on the forums I'm DrTruffle.
Oh and here's a sketch I did for CWO I found which we used to pitch the idea. Amazing how you can hardly tell the difference between my sketch and the final game.
Oh we pushed for Hexagons as they are 50% better than squares.
Posted at June 7, 2009 : 1:07 PM
This is one of my fav type of games and the level of polish on this bad boy is amazing. Not the norm to tell the developer and the designers to STOP working on it we need to push it out there.
The average game time on this so far is 20 min which is 2x our normal standard. It's understandable as the game mechanic is for longer games.
When you get a brief such as "game for a TV and HAS TO integrate with the product features" it's quite tough. Trying to convey 2ms, 200mhz, divx and engergy saving into the one game was a challenge. In fact if LG had not of liked the Tower Defense game idea we were all out of ideas.
Posted at June 7, 2009 : 12:56 PM
April 8, 2009 : 1:55 PM
Wolverine Game Widget
Posted at April 8, 2009 : 1:55 PM
April 6, 2009 : 5:06 PM
Creed Fight 3D Screenshot
Posted at April 6, 2009 : 5:06 PM
New Orleans Casino 3D Screenshot
Posted at April 6, 2009 : 5:01 PM
April 3, 2009 : 3:08 AM
X-Men Origins Wolverine Game Featureette Video
Love these feature videos for the games the Raven team shown above did a pretty good job with these videos for X-Men Origins Wolverine Video Game. I hope they also do some for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Posted at April 3, 2009 : 3:08 AM
January 25, 2009 : 6:38 PM
Where the Hell is Matt Game Edition
Watch more videos of TF2
Posted at January 25, 2009 : 6:38 PM
January 8, 2009 : 8:16 PM
Street FIghter 4
Ive never been a major Street Fighter fan but the game play videos look hot.
Cammy is super fit too :)
Posted at January 8, 2009 : 8:16 PM
November 17, 2008 : 9:46 PM
Dear Gaming Diary
I've been reading through Arne's Gaming Diary and thought I'd throw my thoughts here. This last 3 weeks have been my most active gaming in many years so it's worth throwing down some comments. I'll go in reverse order so I remember easily
After 1hr I had progressed to rank 5 and died 12X more than I had killed. I'll blame lag but it seems that everyone knows the secret on killing and I just luck into it. The unlocking new weapons and perks is what will get me coming back.
I had the headphones on but for some reason no one was speaking. I made sure to complain about every time I was killed throwing in crass and also left field curse words but I didn't get much from the audience.
The XBOX live connection then shate itself at the same time Ervi rang to say come home. It was time to say goodbye.
I never played COD4 Modern Warfare but I think I missed out. I like modern weapons with their automatic firing, scopes that go red when you lock on :)
Gears of War 2: Well with the UFC a no go in Australia I put myself down for some Gears of War 2. Chris and Asahdi made it online so we opted to go private Horde. We started at our save point of Wave 18 and tried on the First Day map. "Get to the stairs" was my solution but at this level you're getting your ass pumped by big baddies right away.
We tried Ashadi's solution of staying on the ground and lasted even less time.
We changed maps. We got to my fav map with the cornered stairs and did OK. Wave 19 achieved. But then we got our ass kicked.
Ashadi dropped out (lame effort) and Chris and I had no hope in Horde by ourselves so we went public horde. The match making took less time than usually but still took a good 2-3 min. That's been my biggest gripe. It just takes so long! I timed it once and it took me 6 minutes to find a "anything" online battle.
A bunch of lag issues (was it me) affected the game with Matt freezing at one point and another he had no textures or walls at all. Just floating enemies. But after a couple of hours we did OK.
Far Cry 2: I had seen this game but had no idea it was so much fun. All games need to start you with a bazooka. It just makes sense. Once I realised you could take out those guard areas and they don't come back it was easier travelling around. The game is a 50x50 sq/km sandbox game and this means lots of exploration. I also snuck in some multiplayer but I preferred Gears of War or COD over the multi player here.
I also tried my hand at the map editor and built one out of cars. You would really need to spend some time to make a good level.
This is definitely one of the most fun games I've played in a while and that's why I had to cut myself off from it. I can see myself spending (wasting?) a good 40+ hrs on this bad boy. Gears of War I know is a short term relationship of maybe 6-8 hrs and that I can fathom. Also no co-op in far Cry really hurts. Why!! Co-op is the best feature to all these games? It really makes these games more fun. I understand the open nature of the game makes it harder...
Brothers In Arms: Hells Highway:
Even with all this gaming I have still missed GH4, Mirrors Edge demo, Dead Space, Left for Dead and Resistance 2. I think I need to just ween myself off games again as It's too easy to spent the entire weekend (sorry Ervi) just playing.
The PSP sucks for this game as my thumbs bloody hurt. The 360 dual sticks works so much better. Anyway it's still fun but control is what it's all about and it's annoying with a 4 way Dpad and a small analogue stick :(
Ipod Touch Games:
The iPod touch has been a breeding ground for shit games. It's like you're now expected to pay $1 to play some shitty flash game you'd normally ignore.
Anyway here's the games I've played. I've been testing heaps lately
Toople: Great little stack game, great art and worth the couple of $
I'm just waiting for Peggle on the iPhone to fill my public transport times to joy.
Posted at November 17, 2008 : 9:46 PM
September 11, 2008 : 12:34 AM
Fallout 3: The Scrapped Version
I titally forgot that I watched this ages ago. With Fallout 3 about to be released here its funny (or sad) to look at a version that was scrapped after what looks like a lot of work. I played Fallout 1 heaps and 2 a bit but was in my Final Fantasy zone back then.
Posted at September 11, 2008 : 12:34 AM
August 3, 2008 : 1:59 PM
Castle Crashers Footage
Wow, Tom Phulp is one name you dont here much outside of the flash game industry. But he runs one of the biggest social networks Newgrounds and he's a successful game publisher.
This makes methink of what happened to Ze Frank. Didnt he go to Hollywood to make it big?
Posted at August 3, 2008 : 1:59 PM
October 17, 2007 : 11:09 PM
Flingo is Live!
Rather than wait for a client to brief us for a game we wanted to do we just built one exactly how we want it. We forgot what it was like to have complete creative control on a project.
It's our most beautiful game yet with everyone at Soap putting in lots of overtime.
There's even a full level editor which looks like a CAD program. I just sketched mine on paper for fear of breaking it. Creating a level for a game like this is quite complicated.
Posted at October 17, 2007 : 11:09 PM
June 12, 2007 : 11:19 PM
Every Mortal Kombat Fatality
Remember when MK was cool? I do and now after watching this it seems so lame
At least they had some fun wirth it though. Note: this is 10 minutes you'll neve rget back
Below is the 2005 edition of the game and the fatalaties get a little better.
Posted at June 12, 2007 : 11:19 PM
March 25, 2007 : 6:30 PM
God of War 2
Wholly shit this game looks awesome. This is why your Wii might gather some dust.
Posted at March 25, 2007 : 6:30 PM
PS3 Launch in Australia
This is a lesson to all marketers about how to launch a product. Or maybe a lesson in not how to do it. This was a photo taken hours before the midnight release of the PS3 at Pitt St Mall. Right in the centre of Sydney its the shopping area for these type of events.
Compare this with the image below from the Xbox launch.
With about 1,000+ people, there wasn't enough room to swing a Wiiremote
Posted at March 25, 2007 : 1:38 AM
March 10, 2007 : 2:02 AM
The guys that made Alien Homindoid have a new game for Xbox Live Arcade (which means a $10 game) and it looks killer. It's also multiplayer on live so that multiplies the killer by 4
Posted at March 10, 2007 : 2:02 AM
December 27, 2006 : 5:29 PM
We got a Nintendo Wii over the break (a white one although I'd prefer the black ones) and I've been playing it the last few days. I actually played if for 13 hrs the first day ( i know as it keeps track of your game times)
We've got an error with the system that is comes up and says "System files are corrupt, please consult the manual" but sadly there’s nothing in the manual about this and from a few Google searches we may have to return the system. Which in turn means my 184 top score in bowling will be wiped.
The Wii is lots of fun to play but after fishing, bowling and other fun games I just wanted to shoot the shit out of something in Gears of War.
The more I played the Wii the more I realized can't Microsoft just release a remote type controller with motion sensing abilities? It'd be a lot harder for Nintendo to make the Wii play in HD or play DVD's but easy for Xbox to get a motion sensitive controller?
Also the Red Steel game for Wii is shitastic. I had more fun in the fishing game that playing that.
The Wii must be doing good business as I had to go to 3 stores to complete the set. Myers was the only ones with a Wii box in stock. But no games or controllers. EB games had some games and a plain remote and Game Wizards had the Wii Play bundle set.
No one has any nun chucks left though which is weird as you'd think there would be as many nun chucks as remotes? If not less.
Oh and you really do have to keep a firm grip on te remotes. I've almost tossed the remote a few times by accident.
Posted at December 27, 2006 : 5:29 PM
November 25, 2006 : 4:39 PM
We had out XBOX 360 cable set to non HD for about a month and didnt realise!! We flicked it over yesterday as Gears of War was looking blurry and then all stood around looking alike idiots :)
Gears of War is probably one of the best examples of next gen gaming there is. It just makes you want to buy an XBOX 360, a large HDTV and a massive speaker system.
Posted at November 25, 2006 : 4:39 PM
November 9, 2006 : 7:46 PM
Ashes Clashes Classic Catch
This is one of the best games we've made at Soap. It's original, addicitive and fun to play. It's also hard to master. Bogan Surf, Pingball and Date Movie Game are the only other games I feel stand up to this one and only the Date Movie game can call it self original.
Posted at November 9, 2006 : 7:46 PM
October 26, 2006 : 6:46 PM
Fight Night 3: The Punch
We love this game in our office. We have a league which I ruled for almost 3 weeks but now I'm bottom of the ladder!
This was my sucker punch to David but I lost to a controversial decision after being knocked out instantly with a Haymaker twice. My 4 knockdowns I gave Dave meant nothing!
Posted at October 26, 2006 : 6:46 PM
October 21, 2006 : 7:26 PM
Loco Roco on the PSP
I finally got around to playing Loco Roco on the PSP. If you own a PSP then this is a must have! It's only $49.95 too which is a bargain.
The art direction and sound design are perfect. You can't fault it. I didn't even realise there was the mini games and the Loco Roco house game. You find yourself singing along like a stoned chipmunk.
The music is one of the best features. If you split your character into the little Loco Rocos the music changes slightly to have a choir element to it. Bring them back together and your Loco Roco just sings alone. So subtle and seemless.
One thing the game does well is bring vector artwork back into gaming. It look stunning and maybe peopel will see the beauty in flat colour again.
Posted at October 21, 2006 : 7:26 PM
October 10, 2006 : 1:33 PM
Limbo Game = WOW
I have no idea what platform this game Limbo is on (It would be awesome as a PSP game) but it looks like Tim Burton meets Loco Roco with a little bit of Another world thrown in.
Make sure to check the site as the teaser animation is fantastic.
If you are a Digg person you can Digg it here and read the thread about it.
Posted at October 10, 2006 : 1:33 PM
September 24, 2006 : 3:32 PM
Dead Rising's Questionable Theme Pack
We've started played Dead Rising on the office XBOX360 and it's a pretty cool game. For me I love zombie games but hate managing resources. Luckily Dead Rising is the Zombie game for people who just love to kill stuff. Push a lawnmover into a crowd of zombies and you get the effect you are looking for! None of this evade the zombies until you find a bullet clip with 6 bullets. Just pick up a bunch of CD's from the music store and start throwing!
I checked on Xbox for info on Dead Rising and found you coudl get theme packs. And below was the first of five on offer. Sad to say the least that XBOX are pushing this type opf content. You'd have to be a pretty sad gamer to want that.
Posted at September 24, 2006 : 3:32 PM
September 18, 2006 : 9:30 AM
Earth Wallpapers is going off
In less than a week Ive had my Earthwallpapers.org site stats skyrocket.
Check the Google and Del.icio.us stats. 30,000 results for the site which returned just 1 when I checked on Thursday. And 124 Del.isio.us adds whcih is amazing.
The whote site took about 4 hrs todo and the wallpapers a combined total of about 6. And now it's an easy process to add new wallpapers and keep the content fresh.
The only problem I have no is that the wallpapers are dominating my Flickr accoutn in terms of views with one photo racking up 30,100 views in 4 days.
Posted at September 18, 2006 : 9:30 AM
August 13, 2006 : 5:01 PM
Xbox 360 games
There's 2 games for Xbox 360 which are looking pretty awesome.
Gears of War which looks like Ghost Recon with more firepower.
Both look liek great titles and with no revolutionary gameplay but a new twist on classic gaming.
Posted at August 13, 2006 : 5:01 PM
July 20, 2006 : 8:59 PM
Wholly shit this is cool. Probably the best thing to come to 1st person shooters in a while.
Posted at July 20, 2006 : 8:59 PM
June 16, 2006 : 8:19 PM
XBOX360 Gamer Tag
We finally got our office XBOX360. This was after game wizards stuffed us around ofr 3 weeks. Losers in a half shell those guys are,
Ive played 2 Fight Night games online and lost both so our stats in that game are looking pretty shit. I should have learnt the controls first :)
Posted at June 16, 2006 : 8:19 PM
June 2, 2006 : 6:31 PM
It's amazing having such a talented bunch of people working with you as you are constantly suprised and inspired by your team.
We're looking at expanding this engine for a 2 player game, adding a scoring system, more weapons, a screensaver and a few other things.
Posted at June 2, 2006 : 6:31 PM
May 7, 2006 : 10:33 PM
Flash Content on PSP
Firmware 2.7 is out and you can play flash conent in the browser. Yay. Only Flash but that's still a big step.
Posted at May 7, 2006 : 10:33 PM
January 28, 2006 : 1:58 PM
Worms on PSP
I'm excited about the release of Worms on PSP. This would be a great multiplayer game. I was excited about Midway Arcade Treasures until I saw the rating. I woudl have loved to play Rampage or Guantlet multiplayer but from what I've read the entires package is a pile of shit. Oh well I guess the Namco collection looks a little more promising.
Posted at January 28, 2006 : 1:58 PM
October 30, 2005 : 7:53 PM
GTA: PSP delayed
GTA for PSP has been delayed by 2 weeks in Australia. Lame
Posted at October 30, 2005 : 7:53 PM
October 27, 2005 : 12:45 AM
I was lucky enough to receive 7 PSP games from a friend who reviews games for a living. So my PSP worries are over. I'm currently trying toget past the first boss in MediEvil which is great and trying to fisnihg one race in WipeOut Pure without crashing and dying. I think I'll buy GTA: Vice City Stories while I still have a $10 off voucher.
The problem I found with having the white PSP is it gets dirty easily. Easspecialy when grubby fingered friends use the analogue controller!!!! Yeah I'm looking at you Brad :)
I'm still waiting for my 1GB memory stick and need ot buy a screen protector aswell (very paranoid right now)
Oh and surfing the web while kinda slow is actually OK. This site actually come up alright if you choose to have the content reshuffled. To bad the URL is a pain inteh ass to type in on the PSP. Thanks again Jason for fising the WIFI settings for me.
Posted at October 27, 2005 : 12:45 AM