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Friday, August 22, 2014

Is Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition Crossplatform

I have been looking everywhere for the answer to this question. I knew it wouldn't be crossplatform with PC/Mac, obviously, as the PS3 version was not and is not, but I wanted to know if I could play Diablo 3 on my PS4 with my PS3 friends. So without further ado, the answer is a resounding NO.

I purchased the PS4 version and was unable to join games with PS3 friends. I knew it was unlikely this would work, but I had to try. Blizzard had been unwilling to respond about this feature, probably because they weren't sure if they would eventually implement it, but that they couldn't just be upfront about it in regards to the release really annoys me. Would it have hurt them so much to just say it?

It is clear that many games have the ability to be played between PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, and Xbox One. Need for Speed Rivals was designed to do it, according to the developers. Destiny was definitely going to do it until they recently decided not to. Diablo 3 was a perfect candidate for this kind of play and Blizzard, just like everyone else, totally let us down. Need for Speed didn't seem to give a specific reason for why they changed their minds. Destiny claims it would ruin PvP and that newer generations would have an advantage, which I think is bullshit. If you look at the difference in quality between the games it's negligible and if you were still worried you could make it so that PvE could still have the ability to run cross platform. But Diablo isn't even so much a PvP game like these other examples. And even when it is the computing power isn't going to make the difference.

Some people have mentioned that the difference in computing power is the cause for this separation. That's also bullshit. Computer games have had scaling graphic options for decades and they were still able to play together. So you build it to run with the lowest necessary settings and BAM, you're good to go.

Needless to say, I am seriously disappointed in Blizzard and pretty much every other modern gaming company. So many times it has been mentioned that games will be crossplatform or that we will have that capability and so many times, as we reach the release of a new game, we have been let down. I'll at least give Blizzard the credit that they never promised Diablo 3 would work in this fashion, but they never really denied it either. Or, at least, it wasn't easy to find an answer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Honorable Mentions

Yeah, yeah. I suck at writing this blog. Truth be told, I don't know how often I will be posting in the future, but I will try to get back on the ball. I'm sorry. It's not that I haven't been playing video games. I have been playing many video games. But I've also been up to other things and my focus gets pulled elsewhere like a cat when it spots the elusive red dot of a laser pointer.

So just to get us back up to speed I have decided to compile a list of honorable mentions. There are a few games that I have put some time into lately and though I have played these well beyond the ten minute limit I will still be harshly judging them by their approximate qualifying times.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Publisher: 505 Games
System: PS3, XBox, Windows

Image from www.brothersthegame.com

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is, as far as I am aware, a completely unique experience in that you control two characters simultaneously with one controller. These characters are, as the title suggests, brothers and though their skills are very limited they work together to solve obstacles and overcome puzzles.

The game begins with an ailing old man, presumably the boys' father, though we can only be so certain as the characters mumble to each other in an unintelligible language consisting of a series of grunts and exaggerated arm gestures. The boys bring Weird Uncle Bob, as we will now call him, to the local medicine man (again assuming) who then sends them on a quest to retrieve the only medicine in the land that can cure him.

The boys set off on an adventure through the town where they are harassed by Chet, the local prankster, before retiring to enjoy a nice sit on a bench for a view of the surrounding area with Hobo Bill.

The controls for this game are unique. Each character is limited to basic movement and each character can grab onto things to move them or hang from them, but that's basically it. I played Brothers on the PS3 so each joystick controlled one of the brother's movement and the triggers controlled their grip.

Oh, I should also mention that the brothers differ in age by maybe a few years so that adds an interesting juxtaposition or dynamic or something.

Overall, I think Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was a good experience and it is worthy of your money. Or you can do what I did and download it for free when it comes around on Playstation Plus.

War Thunder
Genre: Free to Play, Massively Multiplayer, SImulation
Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
System:PS4, Mac, Windows

Image from www.warthunder.com
War Thunder is free.

...OK, I'll say a little more.

If you are like me and have an unhealthy obsession with World War II, which I am certain you do, then War Thunder is going to be worth your time. Why do I say this? Well, mostly because it's free to play so the only thing you have to spend on it is your time, which, let's face it, you were going to spend reading Wikipedia articles about World War II anyway.

War Thunder puts you in the cockpit (or about thirty feet behind the tail, depending on your style of play) of a very wide variety of World War II planes and then tells you to go nuts! That is quite literally all you need to know about the game.

Oh, you can also drive tanks, but who cares.

You begin by choosing a faction ('Merica!) (or, like me, you choose Britain first, because the RAF won the Battle of Britain with a rousing speech from Winston Churchill and a healthy dose of liquid courage; and who doesn't want to fly a Spitfire?!). Then you choose which plane you want to fly. At first you're only allowed dinky planes. Some of them are basically crop dusters with a pellet gun duct-taped to the engine hood. They aren't fast, they can't fly very high, and they barely scratch the paint of your adversaries, but they do the job...sorta. With a little elbow grease you can earn your way up to some pretty powerful, high-flying pieces of metal like the P-51 Mustang or B-17s, if you're into the whole bomber thing. I actually haven't made it that far so I have no idea how long it will take you to get there, though you can grease the cogs of this great machine with a little spray of WD-Money.

Yes, you can pay to advance your vehicle research. I know this is concerning, but let me also mention that the game separates players by tiers. What this means is that the types of planes you choose to bring into battle determine the level of players you will be facing. So you will not find yourself looking down the multiple barrels of a MiG 9 while piloting a Bf 109. That would certainly be an awkward situation! You know what I mean.

There is a steep learning curve to this game as the functions of the planes are fairly realistic. Altitude is the key to success! That and upgrading the hell out of your planes and crews so that they don't get one-shot right in the cockpit. For the most part you can learn what you need from the tutorials. Or you can be a natural like me and take to flying like a stone to earth.

It should also be mentioned that this game is cross platform between PC and PS4. I'm not certain if there is any advantage to playing on one over the other as you can still only maneuver as fast as your plane is able, but I play on the PS4 and I tend to get shot down a lot. Am I a bad player? I doubt it.

I'll leave the subject of War Thunder with a little phrase that I just came up with that does not allude to anything I have ever heard before. Here it goes: Never, in my time playing video games, have I received so much in such quality for so little.

Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
System: Playstation, XBox, Windows

Image from www.watchdogs.ubi.com

Watchdogs is alright.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Where have you been?

Oh my God. Ash, you are the worst at keeping up with this blog. Where have you been these past weeks? Do you even play games anymore? Get to writing!

Yes. That's you. Or at least I assume you are that needy. I don't really know you. You may not even exist, but in my head there is someone out there giving me a hard time in their own head. I'm sorry, readers. I have been very bad at posting lately. As usual, I have a lineup of reviews that I would like to do, but I just haven't had the spirit to write them up yet. Busy time at work, y'know. Plus, this. At some point in the, hopefully, near future I will try to get myself motivated to start writing reviews again. And then you may see such hits as Need for Speed Rivals and Killzone: Shadowfall, but until then, I am truly sorry.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Rogue Legacy

Genre: Action, Indie, RPG

Developer: Cellar Door Games

Publisher: Cellar Door Games

System: Linux, Mac, Windows

If you’re like me and seek games that are easy to get into you may like Rogue Legacy. Within the first minute and a half of playing you will understand the basic controls, the concept of the game, and the fact that the reasons you got into the game so easily may be the very reasons that make you hate the game with a fiery passion.

I guess it depends on what you’re expecting from a game.

Rogue Legacy is the story of a family of heroes, one of whom decides to go rogue and kill the king/father of the family and rule the family estate, hence, the name of the game…I think. Don’t worry. None of this is a spoiler since it’s literally the beginning of the game. In response to this treason the rest of the family, consisting of a hodgepodge (hehe, hodgepodge) of warriors and wizards, who may be colorblind, stereo blind, clumsy, bald, flatulent, nearsighted, short in stature, strong of arm, or any of a number of other descriptors, rises up in attempt to defeat their treacherous ancestor. And so they go, one at a time, hopping through the old castle, now haunted with all sort of ghoul and fel-creature, to try to restore their family’s honor or whatever.

It’s a real blast!

The only trouble is that the creatures you are fighting are very strong and you will, without fail, fail.

And die many…



But that’s OK! I mean, it is if you’re into that sort of thing. And, as an added bonus, you can get added bonuses from the efforts of the previous family members in the form of heirloom weapons and special abilities that were somehow passed down through the generations of people dying in a castle never to return…

…there may be a little plot hole there, but in general it’s a lot of fun!

Happy Thoughts: Rogue Legacy is an easy game to get into. The controls are fairly simple and the gameplay is that of a standard platformer.

Sad Thoughts: Rogue Legacy is difficult to get into. You die a lot and, unless you amass a lot of wealth in a single run or are really good and the game, you may give up in frustration.

The Bottom Line: I really like this game. If you are able to accept that failure is part of the fun you could potentially have hours of good times.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We are Gods

You've probably been wondering where I disappeared to over the last few months. Or maybe you didn't and that's cool too. I have not given up on writing Ten Minute Game Review. In fact, I've had a couple of games queued up for my insightful remarks, but between the holidays (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, by the way), my birthday, and my recent work developing a card game (I'll get to that), Ten Minute Game Review sort of fell to the wayside. I apologize for that and I plan to slowly begin posting again in the near future. So let's pretend you're not mad at me for leaving you to wade about in the shallows of the internet and let's get back into the swing of things with some shameless self-promotion!

 Did I mention I created a card game? Let's talk about that for this week's session.

Through the magic of a small batch printing site called The Game Crafter I have been able to assemble and sell a small card game I developed called We are Gods. The gist of the game is for players to assemble creatures using a bunch of random body parts and do battle for the glory of themselves. They are gods after all.

We are Gods is a game for two to four players and -- OK, I realize that I am sort of reviewing my own game, but I'm not really here to tell you how good or bad it is. That's up to you to decide. And if you want to buy it, play it, and write a review about the first ten minutes of it, send your review to dlexto@gmail.com and I will post it on here so you can tell the world how awful (but really how awesome) We are Gods is -- it typically takes about an hour to play. As a god, you have access to powers that allow you to crush your opponents' creatures and if you have the last creature standing (or the creature with the most health in the event of a stalemate) you win! Make the others bow down and pay homage to you! But remember, the game is short, and in the next game you may be the one doing the bowing down and homage paying...

We are Gods is available now at The Game Crafter for $14.99.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Batman: Arkham City

Genre: Action, Adventure

Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

System: Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3 and just about everything else

I can't think of a time when I didn't like Batman. I mean, he's an everyday guy (admittedly a millionaire) that puts on a suit and uses gadgets to beat the snot out of criminals. What's not to like? By comparison, you can't relate to Superman, because you weren't born on another planet and you don't have super powers. Tony Stark? Well, the suit does most of the work. Still cool, though.

If you've played Batman: Arkham Asylum then you're looking to get a lot of the same from Arkham City. And, frankly, that's OK. Arkham Asylum is a lot of fun. There's fighting, sneaking, interesting boss fights, and a decent story line. So far, Arkham City has opened with all hell breaking loose. Batman's been kidnapped as his mild-mannered alter ego, Catwoman's stealing an SD Card filled with what I suspect are incriminating photos, and the city (Gotham that is) is in a tizzy about Arkham City, which, to alleviate confusion, is a giant city-like prison in the middle of Gotham, where the criminals seem to be more or less entirely in control. Guess we solved that whole prison overcrowding issue once and for all.

Batman, as Bruce Wayne, has been brought to the prison for speaking out against the prison by some elite commando team or the police or something. That hasn't really been explained, but he's being held there by future-scientist Abraham Lincoln. So Bruce Wayne escapes and blah blah blah beats up the Penguin who's just shown up. Naturally, all the prisoners hate Bruce because he put them behind bars and so far the story is your typical Batman scene.

Let's talk about game play. I bought Arkham City through Steam, which means I have to play it with mouse and keyboard (I cannot get my 360 controllers to work, don't ask). I'm not saying the mouse/keyboard combo is a bad thing, but I feel like it takes away from this game. It feels like the game was meant to be played with a controller so if you have the means, do so.

The combat is simple, but fun and reminds me a lot of Assassin's Creed. You just gotta keep countering and eventually you'll beat everyone up. And, if you're Bruce Wayne, you can to it all in style while wearing handcuffs! At this point, you have to wonder why the baddies just haven't given up.

Justice never sleeps. Goodnight!

 Happy Thoughts: Arkham City does epic well. The music adds about 40% on it's own, but I get a really sense of urgency right off the bat. Also, there's none of this slow climbing crap like in Assassin's Creed. When Batman shimmies along the ledge of a massive building, he shimmies like there's a bee in his tights.

Sad Thoughts: Oh, I hope they have more Scarecrow sequences like in Arkham Asylum. Those were my favorite.

The Bottom Line: I know it's the whole point of this review to unfairly judge a game based on its earliest moments, but I just don't know what to say about Batman: Arkham City. I guess it feels like I just never stopped playing Arkham Asylum and that's gotta count for something.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Space Engineers

Genre: Action, Indie, Simulation, Strategy

Developer: Keen Software House

Publisher: Keen Software House

System: Windows

Space Engineers is a spaceship construction and flight simulator. You can build a ship, piece by piece and then fly it. The controls are pretty straight forward, you can move forward, backward, strafe- just about anything you are able to do in a typical third-person game. The graphics are decent, but the animation can be a little wobbly when you're just playing the astronaut so if you're like me and you get motion sickness easily, you may want to take it slow.

But I only had ten minutes so I ran around as fast as possible and started trying to figure things out as quickly as I could. The game offered me a tutorial and, at first, I thought that might be good, but then it linked me to a thirteen-minute youtube video at which point I promptly said "screw it" and went back to the game.

I started off in building mode, which is to say I was playing the astronaut and he had the standard block building option selected, so I randomly placed a few objects. That got boring real quick. I'm excited to build stuff and all, but, again, time limits, I wanted to get into the action. So I hopped in the giant red starship docked before me and made my way to the control room. With a little help from the onscreen tips I was ready to go. "Punch it!" I shouted to my empty apartment.

The ship, every so slowly, like slower than molasses, began to inch forward. I held down the forward key as hard as I could. Maybe I could squeeze a little extra juice out of those engines if I believed in myself. That's when I remembered that the game was going for a more realistic approach to space. I had been wondering why there were no sound effects. Though the music is pretty intense!

With a bit of time the ship finally started going somewhere. It takes a little getting used to, but the game is designed so that if you start turning in one direction and want to stop you have to start turning in the other direction, so...space. Eventually, I managed to find the blue starship and with my engines to full I slammed into that thing full force! Then I kept going for a bit and, with time, was able to split the ship in two. Success! I had accomplished exactly what I had set out to do and I still had some time to spare.

I decide to attempt building my own ship so I made my way to the door of the red ship and started trying to build off the side, but in my haste I stepped off into the void and began to fall, which is strange, because, again...space. But the moral of the story is when you are a space engineer you bring a jet pack for these occasions.

Happy Thoughts: I am really excited to see where Space Engineers goes. Right now it's in early access phase so it may be some time before things begin to get super interesting. I am definitely going to attempt to build my own ship in the mean time. Maybe I'll build the Slave 1- oh, wait. Someone beat me to it.

Sad Thoughts: I know you can't have sound in space, but, like with Star Trek, sounds make things more exciting. I'm not complaining and I don't think they should change it, but it gets lonely out there in...space.

The Bottom Line: Space Engineers is a lot like Minecraft, but in...space. What I'm really hoping for in the long run is that, in that same vein, they make weapons for your ships, sure, but that they also allow the players to build weapons in game using basic building materials. One of the best parts of Minecraft is building elaborate traps for your friends to fall into. I want to be able to overload a reactor and hurl it at an enemy ship, like ejecting the warp core in all those Star Trek episodes and movies. God dammit, internet! Why are you always taking my ideas before I can get to them!

I tried to take pictures from this game, but the print screen option wasn't working so, once again, thank you to the internet for providing photos. I owe you guys!