So lately I have been highly addicted to Minecraft. I went from playing a few hours a week, to a few hours a day. What once was a minor addiction has become an obsession. Each update that Mojang puts out makes me come back for more. I find myself amazed by the pure beauty available in a game that reminds me of the days when I played Commander Keen and spent the majority of my time on a BBS. I am now running my own server and with several friends have begun to create a world together. I want to add more people to the server and am searching for those who will mesh well with our group.
Something I love about Minecraft is it can be as complicated or as simple as you desire it to be. Want to build a working computer inside the game… you can. Want to simply dig and gather… you can. Want to fight monsters and get loots… you can. Or you can build everything out of dirt. Your choice. Its versatility is pretty ingenious and Mojang keeps coming out with more and more ways to enhance our game play without killing the simplicity which makes Minecraft enjoyable and unique.
If any of my readers are interested in joining our server, let me know.
And now you all know why I haven’t been posting.
Oooooh. I see a diamond! Ahhhhh CREEPER!
News has been released surrounding the next game set in the world of Ridley Scott’s Alien titled Alien: Isolation. This new title, developed by Creative Assembly, will focus more on the survival horror elements of the first Alien movie rather than the run and gun elements of the sequel Aliens. Naturally most people on forums and message boards on the subject have brought up the recent failure that was Aliens: Colonial Marines and have already set their expectations low. Most of the people I’ve talked to about the new title have told me that they expect Creative Assembly to completely botch this newest attempt at a good Alien game and we’ll be stuck once again with junk.
I, on the other hand, have another opinion. I just want people to finally let go and finally let the Alien franchise rest.
Don’t get me wrong I love the xenomorphs like the rest of you Alien fans out there it’s just that we’ve yet to receive anything really great involving the acid-bleeding, wall-crawling, brain-munching, monsters since Aliens in 1986. Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection were both junk (with the exception of a couple of scenes from Alien 3). Aliens vs. Predator was…alright(?). Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was also junk.
As video games the poor xenomorphs got just about the same kind of treatment. Alien Trilogy from Probe Entertainment in 1996 received fairly average scores from reviewers. The arcades also received a decent beat ‘em up in Alien vs. Predator in 1994. The 2010 version of Alien vs. Predator was, admittedly, the second weakest game in the franchise with it’s lackluster controls and story. However the absolute worst insult to the series was the travesty which was Aliens: Colonial Marines with its broken AI, worthless multiplayer, and repetitive combat.
We’ve come this far and tried multiple times to recapture the magic that was Alien and Aliens with little to no success. It seems that as time continues to pass this series continues to receive worthless new titles both in movies and games. If Creative Assembly is unable to create a fresh and well made Alien game it may be time to give up and let our xenomorph pals rest.
Star Wars the Old Republic has recently received its newest expansion titled Galactic Starfighter in which players can fight in their own starfighters in new pvp warzones. When I heard about the expansion I was fairly skeptical. The trailers looked pretty exciting however I was never blown away by the space content which the vanilla version of SWTOR contained, so I expected that the expansion would be fairly dry and boring.
Luckily the new content does add a bit of life to SWTOR, but it still left a bit to be desired.
The beginning moments of Galactic Starfighter was admittedly pretty impressive. To my delight the starfighter specific pvp matches are queued for in a separate menu so that those who don’t enjoy the expansion, like myself, can still enjoy the regular pvp that SWTOR already contains. Aside from simply queuing for matches this menu also allows you to examine and modify the ships that you’ve already obtained.
Through the hangar menu you can add new components to your starships which increase the effectiveness of your shields, main guns, missiles, and engines. Also through the menu you can pick and choose which specific crew members you want manning each station from copilot to mechanic. Each crew member gives specific special abilities that allow you to jam enemy engines, boost your ship forward or…
Once you finish customizing your ships you can launch yourself into one of two arenas. The objective of both maps is to control two of three defense satellites until your team reaches a set number of victory points. In order to capture these satellites a ship needs to fly close to the satellite long enough for it to activate for their team. Once a satellite is activated the team which controls it will receive points periodically throughout the match.
To spice up the gameplay in each match, players are provided multiple classes of starship to combat the enemy team. There’s the well rounded strike fighter, the quick and lightly armored scout fighter, and the heavily armored gunship. Each of these vessels serve the team differently and can make the difference in victory or defeat, depending on how many of each craft are in play.
For example, while the scout fighter is fast and can capture satellites quickly, it cam be difficult to defend if ganged up on by larger ships. Conversely the gunship has heavy firepower and can snipe from a distance, but is incredibly slow and difficult to maneuver. These strategic considerations help add to the replay value, and can make matches far more enjoyable if everyone knows what they’re doing.
The in match interface is streamlined and fairly easy to comprehend. The minimap in the lower corner shows the status of the three satellites as well as the positions of enemies who are inside your sensor range. When in combat the interface shows how far your enemy is away and informs you of when they are in range of your primary or secondary weapons. When in range of your primary laser you are given a red circle which shows you where to lead your shot so that you’ll actually hit your target. All of this makes the matches much more enjoyable.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Card this new expansion sounds awesome, but you said it leaves a bit to be desired!”
My disappointment with this new expansion is justified by three undeniable and foolproof facts which I will lovingly explain to you.
1. I suck at this new space pvp where as in the regular pvp I’m actually pretty good. Therefore it must be bad.
2. Every match that I’ve played has resulted in a loss. In the regular pvp warzones my teams have won. Therefore it must be bad.
3 (Don’t worry this one is a legit complaint). In order to obtain new components and new starships to add to your arsenal you must spend new commendations which are earned by playing matches. Individual ship components are bought using green commendations (they’re not called green but I can’t remember their name). New ships, on the other hand, are bought with purple commendations (same situation as green). Understandably the purple commendations are more difficult to obtain because buying new ships can increase your performance in matches.
HOWEVER the loophole in this situation is that green commendations can be exchanged for purple commendations with cartel coins. Therefore you can essentially buy progress and advantages over other players with real world money.
Now I know what you’re saying, “But Card you still have to earn the green commendations before changing them to purple, therefore you are still earning better ships.”
That would be true if two of the newest items on the cartel market weren’t TWO NEW FIGHTERS EXCLUSIVELY SOLD ON THE CARTEL MARKET AND NOWHERE ELSE!!!
I’ve yet to really dig into microtransactions, and essentially buying in-game progress via real world money, on this site but suffice it to say that they’ve really started to irritate me as they’ve grown in popularity. The Cartel Market in SWTOR irked me quite a bit when it was first introduced. I felt bad for players who went out of their way to craft color crystals and armors which were later made insignificant due to the Cartel Market items, but I continued to play while avoiding buying off the CM as much as possible. However putting superior starfighters up on the Cartel Market threw me through a loop and I’m still recovering from the rage induced coma that I went through when I saw it.
I’m not particularly sure on if I want to recommend playing this new expansion to SWTOR. On the plus side it’s free and it has the potential to add some new life to the game for players who were wishing for some space combat. On the other hand the fact that I suck, and the business practices of this new expansion drove me up a wall and turned me away. I would honestly recommend giving this new expansion a try if you play SWTOR and want to experience something new, however I implore you to refuse to refuse spending a single cent on the Cartel Market for these new fighters.