Category: Game Review
Category: Game Review
Civilizations massive sphere of influence, both in the realm of strategy games and in the realm of gaming, in general, continues to grow. The success of the Civilization franchise has spawned a series of spin-off games that deal one way or another with building a Civilization and lasting the test of time. Some of the most successful Civilization spin-offs are Tropico the island civilization game and Banished which is a new game and newcomer to the civilization simulation arena.
Now as a person interested in gaming, let alone online computer gaming, its a safe bet that you have many modern conveniences at home. These probably include electricity, central ac, cable tv, internet, phone, and most likely a small cache of computers and portable devices. Well, what would you do if the government kicked in your door, grabbed you and your family, perhaps your neighbor and their family, and hauled all of you out to a deserted island and left you there? Well, in a nutshell, this is the premise of Banished.
How would you, your family, and the other families, that have been banished from civilization survive? How would you collect food, keep warm, build shelter, and thrive in the harsh wilderness? How do you think you would fare? Do you have an inner Ron Swanson that would be fine or an inner Tom Haverford that would likely die in less than 24 hours.
Banish presents you with this very scenario. The game starts off with a half dozen social outcasts who have been banished from civilization and are forced to survive in the wilderness and guess what they have elected you as their leader. Congrats.
On the surface, this sounds easy enough right? Just chop down some trees, plant some gardens, catch some fish, love balls, and build houses so people can make babies. Easy-peasy… right? Well, this ain’t your momma’s civilization game.
The developers of Banished have done a masterful job at making this simple game into one of the most challenging puzzles you can imagine. They accomplished this by making the simple aspects of resource gathering into a complex feedback loop where every single action has a reaction, and more often than not the reaction is negative and based on the real world laws of nature.
For example, each game starts in spring, and you have until winter to clear enough land to build a shelter for your people, plant some gardens, collect firewood, build tools, and build a make-shift fishery. Needless to say on your first turn you will barely have time to do any of these tasks. Once winter hits you are crippled as Atlanta in a snow flurry. Your only choice is to hope and pray that nobody freezes or starves to death.
While other games like civilization put an emphasis on money, food, and resources equally, in Banished people are the primary key resource. If your population dips below a certain amount you won’t have the manpower to get firewood, mine for resources, collect food and basically survive. Unlike other games, there is a huge emphasis on providing for your people and protecting them from the environment which is unforgiving and very harsh. Your people will need homes, food, clothing, tools, medicine, spiritual guidance, and even emotional support. Every mechanic of this game ties into other parts of the game, which in turn feeds back normally in a negative manner.
For example, let’s say you build a mine out in the woods, and its too far from your city then it will take your miners extra time to transport the mined resources back to the city, which increases their exposure time and the likelihood they will die. Also, mining is very hazardous and it’s not uncommon to have a mine shaft collapse and kill 5 to 7 miners at a time. Losing 5 to 7 people will severely handicap your city, especially if its expended its wood resources. Again all resources are finite and eventually run out.
At first, you will be dependent upon wood for building materials, once you have chopped down all of the trees you will need to start digging some mines to get stone. When you deforest your area your population loses the ability to get medicinal herbs, which can only be found in old growth forests. Even if you replant the forests it will take years before they can produce enough medical herbs and game animals to sustain your population again.
In addition to the complex network of negative feedback loops, this game also has a series of random disasters that will test your towns ability to survive. These disasters include tornadoes, fires, and diseases. While tornadoes are a pure act of God, fires and diseases can be brought on by your people. Again if you over deforest the surrounding wilderness you will run out of medical herbs and your population will get sick and die. If you build too many houses it increases the chances that someone in your village will catch their hut on fire during the middle of winter. And don’t forget about winter, which is a disaster in itself.
Given the complex playstyle of this game, and its unique still of play, Banished has done what few other games have been able to do. It has redefined the gaming format for civilization simulations by creating the first ever survival civilization simulation.
Category: Game Review
The second category of multiplayer modes is those that are competitive.
Category: Game Review
How many times have parents around the world heard their children complain about their teddy bear scaring them, well with Naughty Bear, those misconceptions about teddy bears being unable to hurt people is thrown out the window. Naughty Bear takes a look behind the scenes of what goes on while our toys wait for us to adopt them. This also has an adult theme, besides the violence, behind the game.
Naughty Bear is a teddy bear that lives on an island called Perfection. While he is there, he is surrounded by other teddy bears, and the more he looks around, the more he notices that the other bears hate him and are actively trying to kill him. So what is a bear to do when surrounded by all this animosity? Why, he attacks first that’s what he does.
There are seven different chapters in the game, and in each chapter, you have to play as Naughty Bear and figure out his story. Naughty Bear is available on the XBox360 and has a child-like quality to it despite the adult themes involved. The game opens up in Naughty Bear’s home with a birthday party for another bear starting up close by. The narrator is just like the ones you would expect from Great Britain, one that interacts with the main character as well as the audience.
Each chapter reveals more and more of the story as to why the other bears don’t like Naughty Bear, as well as gives the player a chance to enact revenge against the other bears who purposefully go out of their way to make sure Naughty Bear never participates in any of their activities. Many players report that being able to play this type of game is therapeutic when having to deal with stressful days at work, or with just everyday life. However, there are a lot more people who report frustration with the game having no driving plot behind it.
On a scale of one to five, with one being the worst and five being the best, Naughty Bear rates, according to Amazon, with an average rating of three. And the ratings are pretty much even across the board, with only one or two ratings to separate each rating. The difference between a five-star rating and a one-star rating is only a margin of two, so this game really does seem to be a “love it or hate it” type of game.
After seeing a few gameplays, this writer has to agree that there doesn’t seem to be much beyond the game besides just killing other bears and going on a rampage. While everyone knows that in real life people just don’t go around killing those who make them angry, in the world of Naughty Bear, that is exactly what happens. Whenever the other bears refuse to incorporate Naughty Bear into their activities, he goes on a murdering rampage. And that’s not the only thing that this writer has noticed going on in the game. The kill actions are repetitive, and while it is narrated by an Englishman, the words are also repetitive. Invariably, something happens, Naughty Bear wants to be involved, and when he’s not, he goes on a murdering rampage with the same weapons and moves.
And it’s not just the storyline that frustrates many people. There is also the fact that the camera gets caught on walls and corners, the controls are clunky at best. There are no options for setting traps to capture and kill the other bears for later, nor is there anything that gives the player a more substantial puzzle to figure out, even though the creators assure everyone that there are more substantial storylines behind the gameplay, unlike games without any storylines, like Sims or Clash Royale.
All in all, Naughty Bear seems to be the best game for adults who just want something mindless to play. A game that really doesn’t take much thought behind it to play. However, for the money that is being requested to purchase the game, it doesn’t seem like a good buy on the part of the gamer. Instead of buying, rent the game first to see if you would like this style of game. That way, you aren’t making a purchase you will later regret.
Category: Game Review
“Monster Hunter: World” is a game series published and developed by Capcom. It is an action RPG centered around the player character, as he or she becomes a member of the Hunters Guild, an organization sworn to protect innocent villagers from the wide variety of wild creatures in the world by sending out skilled monster hunters to slay troublesome beasts.
Similar to the gameplay for Mobile Legends, the player controls their hunter and moves them through a variety lush environments, tracking monsters which range in size and shape from the ant-like Altaroth to the massive rocky Duramboros. The hunter attacks these creatures strategically with one of several different weapon types. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses and its own unique style of combat. The Hammer deals massive amounts of damage but is very slow to swing. The Long Sword allows for swift and precise movements, but care must be taken to combo carefully in order to unleash the most devastating attacks. Dual Swords allow for an intense flurry of attacks, including the brutal “Devil’s Dance,” an attack mode that increases damage but leaves the hunter open to the monster’s counter-attack. Other weapon types include Bow, Switch Axe, Great Sword, Sword and Shield, and Hunting Horn.
There are different item drops which the hunter carves after they have slain the various monsters, or which they have collected from spawn points around the world, usually shown as rocks, butterflies, or plants. These items vary in rarity and value and are used to craft sets of armor and upgrade weapons. The kind of monster the hunter slays affects the armor’s appearance and stats, and the weapon’s strength, sharpness, and elemental effects. This is the core of the gameplay; slaying monsters and using the drops to create more items to hunt with, allowing for easier hunting and giving the player a chance against more difficult monsters.
As with the in-game item drops of Subway Surfers, these drops also can be used to create items to help the hunter during the hunt. These can be combined in the field to make emergency potions to restore health, create traps to catch monsters, make flash and sonic bombs, and cook meat to increase stamina. Most of these items can also be bought in the hunter’s village shop, but some items can only be combined. Sometimes a hunter finds themselves unprepared for a hunt, which is why combining in the field can be very helpful.
Hunting the monsters often requires a good deal of skill and repetition to remember movement patterns and weaknesses. Monsters often have areas that are weak for slicing or impact damage, and also have one or more elemental weaknesses which the hunter can take advantage of. Certain parts of a monster such as horns, claws, and teeth, can be broken off, rewarding the hunter with extra drops at the end of the hunt to use in crafting weapons and armor. Most monsters have a tail which can be damaged and removed during combat, which can then be carved for another drop. Monsters have many tells and calls that signal what attack they will use. Learning these and using them strategically gives the hunter an advantage. Rage mode, which occurs after doing some damage to the monster, increases the monster’s attack and speed, making it more difficult to fight safely. When a monster is nearly beaten it will start to limp, allowing the hunter to follow it to its lair and capture it or finish it off.
The biggest draw for Monster Hunter World fans is the ability to hunt together. In groups of four hunters can work together to kill monsters, and this is the recommended way of slaying the largest and rarest monsters, as they can often pose an incredible challenge. There are often monsters unique within the online mode that one cannot fight in single player, which means their weapons and armor and unavailable unless one has friends to play with or can connect with other random players. Hunting in groups often requires even more strategy than hunting solo, as the various weapon types require different styles of gameplay. For instance, the heavy-hitting weapons such as the Hammer, the Switch Axe, and the Great Sword are perfectly capable of knocking other players over, or even sending them airborne, ruining their combo or flinging them into the waiting jaws of the monster.
Monster Hunter World is a fast-paced action with a good amount of strategy. Gamers armed with experiences from Clash Royale strategies will find playing this game is a breeze. It’s very enjoyable, and worthwhile to play, whether it’s solo or with a group of friends.