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Archive for the ‘games i own’ tag

Games I Own: Painkiller

Posted on 11th Oct 2011 at 07:30 by Joe Martin with 31 comments

Joe Martin
Painkiller is a game about frenzy, about being 'in the zone' and about bunny-hopping at 100 miles an hour around gothic castles packed with skeletons and cackling witches. It's a game about violence and speed; the satisfying buzz of a well-executed headshot performed from the hip.

Or, to put it another way, it's a game about 'THUNK!' That's the noise it makes when you fire half a pool-cue across the map and it lands, pinning your enemy's collapsed body to the floor.

THUNK!

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Meet Heather Poe

Posted on 17th Apr 2011 at 10:38 by Joe Martin with 25 comments

Meet Heather Poe Someone I Want You To Meet

This is Heather Poe. She’s a young woman, living in Los Angeles and attending college there, though it isn’t her hometown. She’s kind, happy, eager to please and a little bit geeky. She’s also one of the best features of one of my favourite games, Troika’s Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines.

You find Heather in the hospital, where she’s been rushed into the emergency room for some strange neck wound. As a newly turned vampire yourself, you know that there’s more to this story than meets the eye, but your heightened senses also tell you that she’ll survive her undead encounter if she just gets some fresh haemoglobin. Unfortunately, there isn’t a doctor to hand and the hospital is criminally understaffed.

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Games I Own: Requiem: Avenging Angel

Posted on 13th Feb 2011 at 10:02 by Joe Martin with 13 comments

Joe Martin
Requiem: Avenging Angel is a classic example of a game that should be very well known, but isn’t. In fact, it’s more likely that you've never heard of it, which is odd considering that it was the first ever game to feature bullet time, while having similar gameplay to Jedi Knight. That sounds like a winning formula, right?

Requiem has more going for it than just a single feature and a passing similarity, though. It was also one of the first modern games to tread in Half-Life’s shoes; trapping players in a first person perspective and allowing players to travel back and forth through some levels.

Unfortunately, Requiem had a whole heap of problems, which outweighed these strengths and stopped it from collecting acclaim of either the critical or commercial variety. Firstly, the levels were incredibly boring to fight through and, while Requiem opens strongly with a few gory levels in hellish Limbo, it eventually descends into a blocky romp through generic sci-fi locations. The obligatory sewer section doesn’t help either.

Requiem’s biggest problem, however, is simply the subject matter; Catholicism.

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Games I Own: Executive Suite

Posted on 14th Nov 2010 at 15:13 by Joe Martin with 2 comments

Joe Martin
Executive Suite is one of the most low-fi games I've ever played. It’s also one of the games I've played the most – I used to love it on the first PC my family ever had, an ornery old IBM. Recently, with a DOS emulator slipping into the Apple AppStore for a few hours (if you missed it then you should have kept a closer eye on the ‘What We’re Reading’ section of the front page), I’ve been enjoying it again.

Essentially, it’s a business strategy sim, but one where all the strategy comes from negotiating office politics rather than share prices. At the start of the game you interview for a job at Might Microprocessor Corporation, after which you are given a choice of entry positions ranging from engineer to postal clerk. You stay in that role for one year, and then you’re moved to a new role. The format repeats, with each job lasting only a year before you’re forced on.

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Games I Own: Duke Nukem 3D

Posted on 26th Aug 2010 at 12:38 by Joe Martin with 12 comments

Joe Martin
I’ve played the life out of Duke Nukem 3D over the years, trying most of the different editions and even somehow managing to tolerate the terrible controls of the iPhone version. It helped to shape my taste in games, though more for the impressive amount of detail and interactivity that was built into the levels than for the reasons you’d think would appeal to a teenage boy…

Really though, when I look back on Duke Nukem 3D I don’t think of the game itself – instead, I remember the shareware demo, which came on a disc I got with a games magazine as a young lad. That disc was one of my most treasured possessions at the time, as it contained demos for a whole bunch of games, not least of which were Duke and Quake. Much fun was had.

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I Hate Jade Empire

Posted on 23rd Jul 2010 at 10:54 by Joe Martin with 29 comments

Joe Martin
You might think the poor combat, terrible graphics and lack of stats were what made Jade Empire such a bad RPG, but you’d be wrong.

No, what really kills it is how terribly boring it is. It’s dreadful, really; duller than an inflatable knife - and it’s not just simply tedious either. Jade Empire’s banality can be divided into two separate levels of boredom.

Firstly, there’s the plot itself, which is so predictable it’d be enough to make anyone think they’d become clairvoyant. You play an orphan who has been raised by the teacher of an awesome Kung Fu school that sits unmolested in the rural outskirts of the standard Wuxia setting. Apparently you’ve never questioned about your parentage until the day that Master Li ominously lets you know you have an important destiny.

Oh, sorry, not ominously, obviously.

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Games I Own: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear

Posted on 12th Jul 2010 at 10:14 by Matthew Lambert with 27 comments

Matthew Lambert
Let me start by saying that I've never completed this game, played the multiplayer or played the original Rainbow Six. None of this matters to me though. Rogue Spear is hands down one of the most enjoyable shooters I've ever played.

I know that there was a story weaved in between the missions, and I know at the time I probably followed it to some degree. However, I was only 10 when I first played it, so the significance of weapons of mass destruction and global terrorist threats were lost on my young mind. All I knew for certain was that you had to save hostages (the precious cargo!), and stop bombs going off, shooting any bad guys who crossed your path.

Shooting terrorists was just a small part of the gameplay though. The planning stages for each mission were incredibly detailed. You could customise up to four teams per mission, planning who was in them, what weapon loadouts they had, and exactly what route they would take. While each mission came with a pre-planned route, getting the most out of the game was about making your own from square one.

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Games I Own: Lego Racers

Posted on 8th Jul 2010 at 11:19 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
I never had any of the classic consoles as a kid, only an old Amiga A500+ and occasional access to the BBC Microcomputer at school or the one in my Dad’s office. That means I missed out on some of the apparent classics, like Mario Kart, so I can’t really comment on how Lego Racers compares to what many hold up as the king of kart games. All I can say is that I really liked Lego Racers.

In terms of gameplay and features there’s not really much to say about the original Lego Racers other than that it was a kart racer. You had little racing cars made of Lego and you went through a series of levels, trying to place ahead of the boss of each league. In each race you could collect power-ups to turn the tide of the race – missile attacks, oil slicks, rocket boosters, the usual fare. Unlike the latter Lego Racers 2, the first game didn’t have a big open-world for you to explore between races, just the levels and a few hidden shortcuts.

In fact, the only remotely original feature it had was the most logical and obvious one possible, given the franchise – you could build your own cars from unlocked bits of Lego. Supposedly the design might change how your car handled, but if there was any evidence or indication of that then it was so minimal that I can’t honestly say I ever noticed. Instead, I just tried to make my car look as badass as possible.

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Games I Own: Nerf Arena Blast Demo

Posted on 30th Jun 2010 at 10:10 by Joe Martin with 19 comments

Joe Martin
Yes, you read that correctly, the Nerf Arena Blast Demo – i.e. not the full game. It came on a coverdisk for a games magazine years and years ago and is one of three demos that I’ve hung on to without ever bothering to pick up the full game.

Released in 1999, Nerf Arena Blast was one of several forays that Nerf made into the games industry and is essentially just a brightly coloured FPS that swaps out the usual assault rifles and rocket launchers for Nerf blasters. I’ve never played the full game, but the demo featured two levels and gamemodes – one a straight deathmatch, the other a scavenger hunt variant, both against bots.

Nerf Arena wasn’t a fantastic game, at least if the demo is anything to go by, but it’s not as bad as you might expect. It was built on the original Unreal engine, which leant it some smoothness and graphical aplomb. It was also a lot faster and more fun than you’d think – mainly because the lurid neon levels were full of shortcuts, secrets and jump-pads to keep things interesting.

Still, it was by no means a spectacular game and the reason I’ve kept it around for so long isn’t anything to do with the game itself, not really. I’ve not even thought about actually playing it for a decade.

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Games I Own: Carnivores

Posted on 21st May 2010 at 12:03 by Joe Martin with 8 comments

Joe Martin
Nearly all the games I own are story-focused titles with a strong singleplayer campaign, because that’s very much the type of game that I prefer. There are a few exceptions though and Carnivores is probably the oddest one because it’s a genre I otherwise have almost no interest in; it’s a hunting game.

It’s a fictional one admittedly – you’re hunting dinosaurs using modern weaponry – but it’s still a hunting game. You have to do stuff like gauge the wind, aim only for vital organs and cover your scent. Plus, you only get one weapon and about six shots.

Or, you would if you played Carnivores in the way it was supposed to be played, which I never did.

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Elite Dangerous Review

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