Aliens: Colonial Marines

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

So, after the shitstorm on review websites (http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/aliens-colonial-marines) I was encouraged to download Aliens Colonial Marines to give my opinion of it.
So here it is.

Now right off the bat, im going to go ahead and say that I did skim-read the eurogamer review, so I was expecting certain things before I went in – Im also going to go ahead and say that I dont think i’ve actually watched the Aliens films, so any attempts at “look! its like that bit in the film!” were completely shrugged off. I suppose maybe this makes it a more unbiased review? Or maybe it just makes it a review by someone that doesn’t ‘get it’.

So game starts up, I find out its running in 720p with settings turned down, ok no problem, not every game has to include auto detect settings, thats fine. I crank it to max and get going.

The game introduces its basic mechanics and stuff, and eventually we get to the first alien encounter – The game is actually pretty good at this point, If there were a graph of my review score over time, we’re sitting at a [85] still – The buildup is good, tense music, the movement scanner blip saying something is ahead but I cant see it, the enviroment is dark, it kind of feels like a horror game.
I’ve heard some complain about the graphics in this game, and tbh im not seeing it – maybe these are console players or what but graphically I thought the game was good enough, with dynamic shadows, a smooth framerate and quite a nice HUD style (I quite like the pseudo helmet LCD stuff). [90]I also quite like the health style, a half/half between the common regenerating health of now, and the health of the 90’s which actually had some worth to it.

The alien appears, swipes at me a few times and then runs off to hide (we’re up to a [95] now maybe), I cant find it, I can hear it – which is probably more terrifying, and then suddenly…. It all goes to shit. The alien gets stuck on the scenery and stares at me, stuck in a prowl animation.
[65]What a shame, oh well, I kill it and move on.

The aliens multiply and are coming in waves now, they have somehow list the same intensity as the last one, briskly jogging towards me in a straight line down a long reasonably lit corridor, some shitty music stirs up – Im not sure if this is music taken from the film or not, but it really does not fit the mood at all, its neither action/battle music or atmospheric/tense music.
There is a ‘defend the point’ section, where you fend off a horde of aliens, the AI demonstrate the incompetency mentioned in the eurogamer review, firing wildly at boxes in front of aliens and getting mauled from behind whilst I prop myself against the back wall to avoid getting flanked. The aliens have gone from being hunters to cannon fodder as I exterminate them by the tens [50]

I’d now like to present probably my biggest gripe with the game – After an hour or so of shooting things, you begin to realise how fucking terrible the shooting system actually is. The guns shoot more or less true with hip fire, yet seem to spread whilst aiming down the sights – this is coupled with the gunsight shaking wildly whilst firing, yet not really moving the screen – the effect of this is imagine a RDS, then when you start shooting the RDS starts flailing around the screen, this makes it pretty much impossible to adjust aim whilst shooting because you aren’t actually sure where you’re actually aiming whilst the ‘recoil’ settles down. I’m also going to go ahead and say that the gunfire noise coming from the default gun (pulse rifle I think) is the worst fucking noise to ever come from my speakers – Its not even a describable noise its just fucking horrible and almost like unleashing a barrage of farts with every mouseclick (and not even consistent farts either because the sound would cut and restart mid stream of full auto, almost like they only recorded full auto to last for 2 seconds and then just loop it). [35]

The game also features a level up system and weapon modification system, obviously trying its hardest to appeal to the call of duty generation

So of course you can equip your guns with a reflex sight, and put gold camo on your pistol, hell in the short period I played I had a lovely red camo with a skull on my assault rifle – perfect for my jumping 360 headshots.

After the first level ended I further understood the hate for the game, we were now fighting solders with guns – the game rapidly went from ‘Badly made interesting game’ to ‘Badly made outdated game’ – footsolders by the dozen, even some armoured ones in there too to ‘mix it up’, we’ll call them juggernauts while we’re at it I guess. The shoddy AI which plagued my teammates also applied to the enemy soldiers of course, a lovely mix of ‘run in a straight line’ and ‘whack-a-mole’ behind cover bullshittery. [??]

The game seems fond of its random explosions as well, at no less than 4 times in the short time I played, I died to explosions – from where? from who? I’ve no idea. Maybe the enemies throw grenades, maybe I was hiding behind red barrels – genuinely no idea.
Another minor thing, the game didn’t teach me how to change weapons, I had unlocked 5 other guns during my playtime and the game didn’t feel like saying ‘Press B to open up weapon change’, nothing, I found out after 2 hours of play that I had a sticky grenade launcher and 70 grenades along with a bunch of other goodies. []

Verdict:
Aliens CM starts as a bunch of interesting ideas horribly implemented before going full retard and turning into Call of Duty in space (only without the satisfying gunplay, interesting environments and drama). The first 20 minutes or so makes me really wish this game was made more into a horror game similar to Dead space – but for it to do that, may as well just give the whole fucking thing to Visceral games. Aliens CM is a true horror for all the wrong reasons, plagued with shitty aiming and horrible SFX and music.
My favourite part of the game?

Approximate Game Length :  ~5hrs I hear, Hell if im spending that long on this garbage.
Actual Worth / Shop Price :  £1 / £15 = 0.0666
Should you play it : Nope.
Rating: 1/5

[ “Worthy of the ‘praise’ it is receiving” out of 10. ]

Tales from the rift (Silver III -> Silver II)

posted in: league of legends | 0

So yesterday after work was probably the most intense 2 games of League of Legends in recent memory.
Im still not entirely sure how I feel about the new ranked game system, with its divisions and tiers, and even the promotion series stuff. However, I can tell you that the promotion series is intense.
I remember hearing them talk about how they want the promotion series to feel like a tournament environment rush of desperately wanting to win your best of 3 series, and its true.

Game 1

Game starts, I go to help leash for the jungler (sejuani, who is not known for her incredible jungling speed as is), I start in blue bush, go down to wolves, up to blue – and into their whole fucking team.
They murder me, its brutal and yet over quickly. Sejuani gets pulled. DOUBLE KILL!
Fuck. Thats not good.
I head to lane and check the scoreboard. [Akali 2/0/0 5cs]Fuuuuuuuu.
I go to lane and try to harass her. I Check Akali’s build – she has 9 health potions and 2 wards
Fuuuuuuuu.
Our bot lane gets wiped, our jungler gets killed once or twice.
Im about ready to call surrender by 10 mins.
I lose lane phase. Hard. 5 deaths in 20 mins or so. Im building Warmogs first item before I even have boots – followed by 2 null magics (thankfully I decided to start Crystal Flask, but i still bought about 12 hp pots during lane phase)
Akali has a gunblade at around 15 mins, out CS’ing me by about 50 creeps.
The other lanes have somehow pulled it back slightly, evening the score to 4/10 and 1 dragon in our favour. The team fights start and I go beast mode, Peel for graves like a champion, Pink ward down as soon as Akali appears – Anti-Akali mode is engaged, she already raped me, I refuse to let her rape my carries as well.
We fuck them in teamfights, and take objectives, towers, 2 dragons, a baron and take an inhibitor.
Its tense, a twin shadows/Blitz combo catches lux out of position 3 times, letting them take back an inhibitor and our inner towers, But one last good teamfight and we shove into their base, 4 down. Nexus down. Victory. Fucking glorious comeback.

Game 2

“Pick an AP top, I go Vi mid”
Im hating this game already and it hasn’t even started yet
We end up with the team you see above (aka. fucking retarded team).
I already know that if the game goes much further than 30 mins we’re going to be fucked by thornmail on all 5 of their team.
The game goes pretty normally for the first half, Yorick is losing hard to Elise because nocturne is camping him, Vi is winning against ryze (somehow) and we trade double kills bot lane, junglers preoccupied elsewhere.
Shit starts to get real around the teamfights though, in that every teamfight that unfolds seems more like a train of death lead by xin and vi – the single target lockdown is insane, Ryze entering the fight triggering flash ults from Vi and everybody piling in like an unwelcome gatecrash.
We take their middle inhibitor around 23m, and start to take down their 2nd inhib before we force the surrender vote from them. A smoother game than I expected, but hey, its ranked, I’ll take it.
Its just as well the game ended there though, as postgame analysis showed they were all well on their way to armorsville. Noct with a randuins for a total ~180 armor, Elise with Seekers and a sunfire (~150 total armor) and Ryze’s Frozen heart probably nearing completion…

GG.

So you want to play League of Legends (2) – Pick a Main

posted in: league of legends, SYWPLOL | 3

So after a couple dozen games experimenting with free champions, you should probably consider a champion to ‘main’ for a while.
Having a primary champion will:
– Let you have someone to fall back to if you ever feel like you need to win a game
– Learn a champion indepth and hold a proper understanding
– Understand general matchups as well as specific ones (eg. How to play a Melee VS Ranged lane)
– Help you not suck
– Allow you to focus on what is happening in the game, rather than focusing on what your own spells are doing (this is an important one, as it will speed up learning of game mechanics as well as what other champions can do)

“But Meng! There are so many fucking champion in this stupid game! how do I pick just one?”
Well you’ve been playing the game right? You have 20-50 games under your belt right? Anyone stand out as looking awesome?
At some point you’ll want to go through the champion list (Profile -> Champions) and just look at every single champion, look at all of their 4 skills. There will be at least a few that should stand out to you as sounding awesome. I Remember for me personally, I had my heart set on Pantheon.
Every champion is viable at low levels if you play them well, its only at the higher levels (or ranked) where certain champion picks become completely outclassed because of imbalance.

Eventually, you will want to have a main character in each of the roles (a bruiser for top, a mage for mid and a ranged AD Carry and Support for bot), so that you can balance out a team if you need to.

Other than your own personal favourite pick (whom you should be playing because you enjoy their playstyle) its nice to have alternate picks who are just generally overpowered – this helps in part by giving you a slight advantage over your lane opponent, and in making sure you aren’t learning a champion – only to find out that they are useless at level 30 when your opponents are not going to be complete retards.

Here are a few general good picks for each role, with the ability to change the game when played well
The following go from Easiest->Hardest (eg. Easy, Medium, Hard, Harder)
Mages (Top): Vlad, Kennen, Rumble
Mages (Mid): Ryze, Kassadin, Lux, Ahri
ADC’s (Bot):  Miss fortune, Graves, Ezreal
Supports (Bot) : Sona, Nunu, Lulu
Tanks (Top or Jungle): Chogath, Amumu, Nautilus
Bruisers (Top or Jungle): Warwick, Malphite, Irelia, Riven, Olaf
Assassins(Mid or Top): Talon, Akali

Right Click -> Open in new tab if you can’t view it large enough

Note: This is probably out of date now, League of Legends is always evolving, and power levels shift constantly due to items, meta, balancing and so on.

Arrived from google? See also Part 1 – ‘Basics/winning/roles/items’

See also, Part 3 – Laning Phase

So you want to play League of Legends (1) – Basics/Winning/Roles/Items

posted in: league of legends, SYWPLOL | 3

Inspired by how terrible my friends are, I thought i’d give a basic overview of how to play League of Legends at a basic level – I like to think that even if you are terrible at the game, knowing some basic stuff will keep you from being a complete bottom tier feeder.

Im going to assume you’ve at least played both the basic tutorials

Super basics:
To win a game of League (hereby abbreviated to LoL) you need to:
– destroy the enemy team’s nexus (or giant crystal)
– this can be done by destroying their inhibitors
– To destroy their inhibitors you need to destroy the inhibitor turret
– To destroy the inhibitor turret you need to take out the Inner turret…
– and to destroy that you need to destroy the outer turret..
– And defending these turrets? The other team, who are also trying to tear down your turrets.

So how do you kill the other team? Multiple methods, or some combination of them:
– Skill Advantage/ Outplay them
— You’ll have to know how your champion plays, and how theirs plays, dodge their skills or make them waste their cooldowns
– Gold advantage / Outgear them
— Have more gold by finishing off the minions/creeps or by having more champion kills, then use this gold to buy items to gain an advantage over the enemy (either by increasing your damage, durability or utility)
– Level advantage / Outlevel them
— Stay in the lane and near dying minions to get experience, Alternatively if you gain enough of an advantage, you can ‘zone’ them (ie. scare them away so much that they cant even stay in experience range of the dying minions)
– Numbers advantage / Outnumber them with champions (ganks)
— Call for help from another lane, or make them unaware that they are at a numbers disadvantage (can be done via bush or flanking)
– Vision Advantage / Superior Positioning
— First strike / Keep yourself in their fog of war whilst maintaining vision of them, means they wont be able to fight back efficiently.

Know your role:
Champions are roughly divided into damage type, role, and style

Damage type:
Divided into Attack Damage (AD) and Ability Power (AP)
Champions which build AD usually rely on autoattacks for majority of their damage, with spells providing utility
Champions which build AP usually rely on skills for damage, with more powerful spells and faster cooldowns

Role:
AD Carry – Very reliant on autoattacks, almost always ranged because its safer, needs gold to be effective, but when they get enough gold them can ‘carry’ the team. Usually go bottom lane with support
Mage – AP users which can do burst damage, control spells (CC) or other utility. Requires levels to be effective, usually go mid lane because its safest, and it allows them to assist other lanes by ganking (numbers advantage)
Support – Usually AP users, but primarily build supportive items with active effects or auras to aid allies, often have utility/control spells. Supports typically do not need much gold to scale well, and rely on spell base damages or the utility on their spells to be useful.
Tank – Usually build some AP, but primarily will build defensive items (Health/Armor/Magic Resist – aka. HP/Armor/MR). Their role is for the enemy team to waste time attacking them, wasting their cooldowns, or keeping high priority targets out of the fight
Bruiser/Fighter – Some combination of Tank and AD carry, provide backup for the mage/carry and/or lead the charge. Their job is to keep the enemy ADC/Mage busy, or keep our team’s ADC/Mage safe
Assassins – Get in, murder someone, get out. Can be AD or AP, usually have a lot of burst and some mobility to let them do their job.

Lanes/Meta:
Bottom lane (Bot): Usually consists of AD carry and a Support, with the support giving up their minions to the ADC to let them reach their lategame item build faster
Mid Lane (Mid): Usually a Mage or Assassin, Mid lane lets them farm safer and duel the opponent 1v1, it also allows for easier ganks and roaming
Top Lane (Top): Typically a Bruiser, but Mages, tanks and assassins are not uncommon, the top lane is longest and typically isolated from the rest of the map (as bot/mid/jungle will fight over dragon – which spawns inbetween bot and mid lanes). The top laner thus has to be able to hold their own in 1v1 or 1v2 situations, which is why they are typically a bruiser.
Jungle: Roams around the jungle (wooded area between the lanes) and kills the neutral monsters there, this gives an exp/gold advantage to the team as you can have 2 solo lanes. The jungler will also typically try to gank lanes where possible. Junglers are often tanks or bruisers as other roles have difficulty sustaining their health (as the jungle monsters will be targetting you, as opposed to minions which kill each other)

Cookie Cutter Builds:
So you have gold for items, but arent sure what to buy? Here are some items that are useful in 95% of scenarios. Build them in the order shown if you don’t know any better.
If you don’t know what to buy first item, Buy Boots are 3 health potions. Safe in every situation.

AD Carry: Dorans blade -> Berserker Greaves (zerkers) -> Infinity Edge (IE) -> Phantom Dancer (PD)
Burst Mage: Dorans ring -> Sorcerers Shoes (Sorcs) -> Haunting Guise -> Rabadons Deathcap -> Lich Bane
Sustained Mage: Sorcerers Shoes or Ionion Boots of Lucidity (Sorcs/Cooldown Boots) Catalyst -> Rod of Ages (RoA) -> Rabadons Deathcap (Deathcap) -> Rylais Crystal Scepter (Rylais)
Tank: Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads (Tabi/Mercs) Sunfire Cape (Sunfire) -> Warmogs Armor (warmogs)-> Rylais Crystal Scepter (Rylais) -> Abysmal Scepter (abysmal)
Bruiser: Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads (Tabi/Mercs) -> Phage -> hexdrinker ->
Black Cleaver ->  Frozen Mallet -> Maw of Malmortious -> Warmogs Armor
AD Assassin: Ionion boots -> Black cleaver -> Bloodthirster -> Maw of Malmortious
AP Assassin: Same as burst mage

If ever in doubt, buy a warmogs.

Any other questions about the game, comment and maybe i’ll make more tutorial posts.

See also – Part 2 – ‘pick a main’

And – Part 3 – ‘Laning Phase’

Mind Game (2004)

posted in: Anime, films | 0

Mind Game is without a doubt, the most bizarre Anime/Film I’ve ever seen. Trying to explain the plot is as pointless as trying to understand what is happening in the film, so I’ll spare you guys that.

What I will say however, is that Mind Game is a truly amazing film, full of emotion and clever little spins/twists that will make you think that maybe the people creating it had any sort of idea what they were actually producing.
The artstyle in this film really sets it apart from…. anything else ever created, the film seems to dislike sticking to a set artstyle for more than 30 seconds at a time, scenes range from ‘my first drawing’ to animated photorealism and everything in-between  some scenes look like they were drawn sober, whilst some were drawn on a film cell still half covered in cocaine – but its a good thing, somehow.

I will add, that people looking for a proper plot, or even people looking for a conclusive story might not appreciate this film. Though I suppose it does have its own philosophical ending in its own way but it certainly isn’t the cut and dry ending that most people would prefer.

I think the random dance party was my favourite scene in the whole film

Anidb link here – http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=1834

Torrent here – http://ca.isohunt.com/download/22870258/mind+game.torrent