To the next Level

December 31, 2013

Unfortunately all things must come to an end, but as some die others come and take their place and so the cycle is in the nature. I will stop posting on this blog because I am moving on to other things and maybe a part of you will be joining me as well. It has been a fun ride, reviewing games and talking about them and other things on this blog for three years. Regardless of that I want to thank you dear reader, for the time you took to read this small blog or watch the channel.

For now the new site is still under construction but I will come and edit this post wants it is done.
The new site is:

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

I started my first post with the classic programming test of an Hello, World and I say it’s only naturally to end it in the same way, so once again thank you for your interest in my little world and let’s hope we will see each other’s again.

Return 0;

Oldie but Goldie: Shadow Watch

December 26, 2013

Im not one that advocates piracy especially when it comes to the game industry. However today we have a special case because the game is long dead, long forgotten it seems and my old copy doesn’t work on modern operating systems. So today I would like to share a link of one old but great game: Shadow Watch.

The game is basically chess with guns. You have a team of experts that have to do missions and complete objectives. You move them in turns and then select special powers to gun down the enemies on the map. The best part is that this cracked version of the game works on modern OS’s, tested mine on Windows 7.

Enough chatter and go get it and play this awesome game. >>LINK<<

New Expansion World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

November 10, 2013

Unfortunately for me I have lots of new plans and new directions that I have to head too. Moreover I got my first job so this means even less time to work on extra projects. So after I discontinued my Youtube activity, now slowly I will stop posting on this blog too. However the new direction will still contain games now and then but at least at first it will be just in my native language and not in English. But on more on that in another post.

Today we gonna look at the new expansion that Blizzard announced at Blizzcon, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Well first of all I was glad that the whole Pandaria crap passed and I was really looking forward to see what they will come up with.

So Garosh who between me and you was the single redeemable thing in MoP has escaped his trial and went back in the past to purify the Horde and redeem the Orcs. The new army will be coming through the Dark Portal and raze hell.

So let’s see what the new expansion offers:

– A new continent with 7 zones and from what ive seen is a basically a revamp of Outland, I am not that impressed.
– New races and enemies, this is pretty standard because we are encountering a new primal word.
– New models for the races models aka more polygons and a facelift. I really don’t care, the were fine as they were.
– Garrisons, World of Warcraft’s answer to housing. You build a base like in a RTS game, customize it and collect followers, resources and more. This is I think the most interesting feature and I really want to see how it is done.
– Level cap to 100 and one free boos tto 90, mkay nothing new there.
– New Dungeons, new raids, new world bosses, new quests, new mounts, etc – well…when they say new…it’s ot that new, it is just the same thing with a new hat.
– Mythic raid difficulty meaning 20 man raid. I remember when mythic raids were like 40 man but never mind…
– More stuff that I don’t really care

Well I really don’t know what to say about this expansion. It is just more of the same things but on different settings. I feel that Blizzard lost their magic, their sense of wonder or I just grew older and more critical. Sure there will be new adventures but more of the same old things that we hated. So at least for now I am very unsure if I will buy it or no, but I am sure Titan will bring a breath of fresh air in the MMO scene.

No Mario but two other classics

November 6, 2013

I wanted to post an awesome link to a great classic game named Mario, you might have heard about it. The game was made by a great guy named Josh Goldberg who developed the game in HTML5. But unfortunately Nintendo came on the wire and shut the game down because of copyrights violations. Here is the link to the site explaining a little bit more LINK.

So now that I had no game, I had to go and search for more, and found two classic games to enjoy. They too are made in HTML 5 and we are talking about two oldies, Wolfenstein 3d and Comand & Conquer (links on their names).

Also an older post of mine comes to mind when we had the triple bundle Doom,Heretic and Hexen. Enjoy.

Aliens versus Predator Oldie but Goldie

October 8, 2013

One of the most intense, claustrophobic, fast paced horror game is Aliens vs Predator. When I was little I was scared all the time I played it, and to add to the terror the classic edition didn’t even have a save game option so it was even more hard and awesome.

As the years passed I wanted to play the game but I couldn’t because the game doesn’t work on modern OS. However a skilled team of people did us a huge favor and released a patch to make the game playable on modern Windows systems and fixes lots of graphic issues. There are some bugs and crashes but honestly…who cares?! You can play this awesome old game.

I will leave the link >> HERE << (it only works if you have AvP Gold Edition) and I also did a video with me playing the colonial marine campaign because it is the most intense.

Oculus Rift – Alone horror game

October 7, 2013

Virtual Reality was given up for dead but now and then gadgets come forth to show us what they can do. One as such is Oculus Rift developed by Oculus VR, John Carmack (id Software)is also part of the team.

So today I am posting a video made by Markpiller which involves the Oculus rift and the game Alone. The game is a game within a game and here is where the kicker is and why I am posting this. I am a big fan of horror games and this one of the most immersive games I have ever seen and the major part is because of the Oculus Rift. With the gadget and headphones on you basically surrender yourself to the game, there are no more tricks for you to play without getting scared, like switching on your room lights.

The consumer version is in development, with improvements such as head tracking, positional tracking, 1080 resolution and many more.

Rome Total War 2 Review

September 20, 2013

Remember how awesome the first Rome Total War was? How innovative, excellent gameplay, great empire builder and hundreds upon hundreds of mods made up by the best community ever? Well after about a hundred hours in Rome Total War 2 I think i can make this new game justice. From curiosity I watched the scores it got from other reviewers and I was appalled, I wonder either if the reviewers are stoned, are monkeys or just handsomely paid to put out a good review. But let’s put aside that and look at the game that its predecessor made me spent hundreds of hours.

Creative Assembly (CA) turns our attention back again to the ancient world of the Roman Republic. As it is usual a lot has changed, some in good, some in bad. One of the problems is that I hate this technique to launch half finished games with lots of problems and then they patch it or fix it afterwards (if they even do that) or just say those dreadful three letters, DLC. The game has lots of glitches and is poorly optimized, dropping frame rates and all the bad stuff.

As far as a game published today the graphics are good. I never pay too much attention to graphics really, especially in this kind of game where gameplay and mechanics need to be top notch. The campaign map is bigger than the first Rome Total War and extends well into east. The cities look great with lots of details and so do the units.
With that over let me give a quick sounds check. The music both in campaign and in battle is beautiful, advisers are annoying as ever and the voice acting sometimes hits and sometimes doesn’t. The pep talk before battle is pretty lackluster and generic but I have enjoyed the diplomacy lines immensely.

Finally we get to the main point of the game and that is the gameplay. The cities are grouped up under a province and they have a nice UI for you to manage the whole province and not to have you switch between cities individually. Also I find it very strange that only the province capital has walls and the rest of the cities have not. I liked it better when u could build walls at your own leisure. Also the UI for all management looks like crap. Honestly I do a little of programming and it is not hard to do insert some images and make the UI more user friendly, they just thrown some window boxes and that’s it.

This time you cannot train as many armies you want but you have a determinate number from how many provinces your empire holds. Your legions will be numbered and they can get different perks as they gain experience in combat. This tactic also enforces you to think where it is best to place your soldiers more carefully. For example I overstretched my armies, and some barbarians pillaged a lot of my land because that land had no field armies and no back up whatsoever. You can somehow counter this problem by setting up buildings that improve your garrison.

Every army must have a general and he too gains various ranks and perks. He also is part of a family in your faction and his actions will gain favor and influence for his party. If he is not in your party and his ambition and support is great he can lead a civil war against you. So you have methods of suppressing him like adoption into your party, spreading rumors about him or assassination. As far as the Senate goes they are pretty much inexistent and irrelevant. They don’t do shit except giving you missions which is truly a pity and missed chance for CA to do something good.

The management of the empire has been streamlined even more which for me was pretty devastated cause I always loved the management part better than the action and battles.

Speaking of battles they pretty much screw them up too. Let’s start with the good aspects, ehm….action camera? That is a point of view above the selected unit to make you feel more in the battle. I don’t care for this feature but it is nice that with it you can control the catapult/ballista and shoot as you want. Now that we have got the somehow good aspect out of the way we can focus on the bad….meaning all the rest. All the units are jacked up on crack or meth or some kind of drug because they are all fast as shit. Battles usually take a couple of minutes even big ones, units break too fast and also they DO NOT FIGHT IN BLOCKS. Take the Romans for example, they are well known for their cohesion and tight formation of their soldiers. Here all the fights end up in a pile of people all lumped one in another. It is like a mosh pit at a metal band. Even if I zoom to look at the fight I can’t understand it cause they are all just lumped together. Anyone remember in Rome Total War how nice and coordinated was a line of roman cohorts pitted against a line of phalanx formation? It was epic.

Also one of the biggest problems is the AI. Only the first Shogun game had a superb AI, since then it always sucked but wholly shit now it is just awful beyond any reason. I was in a battle against some barbarian tribe that had almost 8 000 strong against my 2 000 roman army. I thought to myself this will be an epic battle, I will have to pull one of my teeth out to win. I put my line of soldiers in the field and in the trees, hidden was all my cavalry which I intended to surprise my enemy with. Their light projectile units were pulled in by my skirmishers and I chose to wipe them out with my cavalry. It was not a genius move on my part blowing my cover but something happened…the whole barbarian army started to chase my cavalry. The AI kept chasing my cavalry and I just killed everyone from behind with my legions. They didn’t even bother to turn back…they kept chasing the horses like children running after the ice-cream truck. Neither the campaign AI is not great; their armies are made up by stacking just two types of enemies.

Oh I forgot about the naval battles. I never play naval battles because I am not good at them but I tried them here just to see how it is and trust me you don’t want to play them neither. They are full of bugs and glitches and are broken so bad…transport ships are able to sink battleships with ease …nuff said.
CA has always had some strokes of genius in every game but in this one they just take a couple of steps backwards adding almost nothing to the series just cashing in from the franchise. At a first look it seems a solid game but just going in deeper you can see an unfinished game full of problems and glitches and worst of all the part that glued me to other series is just gone.

My rating : 6/10 – A few good hits but that’s it.

Take a look at my Roman Empire:
My empire

Torvik’s game – Jimmy The Knight

September 2, 2013

Ever since I started playing games I wanted to make one by myself. After I began to code my attempts at games were very shy at best, making very small often console games. Last year I made a Pong game for my Android phone however one of my friends came with the proposition we should enter a contest named Ludum Dare.

In this competition a theme is given for programmers to make a game and then they have 48 to complete it if they are alone and 72 hours if they are a team. So there I was with my friend as programmers and we co-opted two more friends for the graphics.

It was a very fun and wonderful experience from which I can say I’ve learned a lot. One downside was that one of our friends in charge of graphics didn’t do his work so the last day I ended up creating the sprites for the characters and the animations.

The theme of the game was: 10 seconds. Not one of our favorite themes but we thought we could do a top down game like Zelda, a fast paced action kill em all game. Every time you cleared a room you get an extra 10 seconds to fight on. The goal is to reach the end and defeat the boss. Even though the game looks like finished there are many things we couldn’t add in the game because we didn’t have enough time, but we want to keep designing the game and eventually release it for the public.

So for your pleasure I give you Jimmy The Knight.Enjoy

Jimmy The Knight

Screens:

5 Reasons for/against playing: EvE Online

August 20, 2013

Over the years i have heard people talking in favor or against a game. So I decided to start a new type of topic in which I give five reasons from my own perspective. So let’s start with the MMO Eve Online. If you don’t know what EvE Online is go to this article.

Against

1. EvE Online is not a newbie friendly game, so it takes a lot of time to get your bearings when you first start the game. The tutorial was refurbished but i feel that it still lack a lot of info but for the meager basics it is ok.

2. Due to the 3D and vast zones, space can become boring and empty. Interacting with other players avatar is impossible, being in that ship all the time is rather bland.

3. The game sometimes turns in to spreadsheet excel. Counting, balancing, building, calculating, you have to spend time behind them to get ahead.

4. Some players might be turned away by the lack of action, instant gratification that is present in other MMO’s and will perceive the game as boring and slow.

5. To advance in the game you have to train skills and skills take from a couple of minutes (the first rank) to months. To fly something good it takes a lot of time to learn the skills, to get some basic PVP skills it took me a couple of months, so it takes you a while to get somewhere in the game.

For

1. There are basically no rules in the game. You can scam people, other people can con you, you can infiltrate in other corporations and lie through your teeth. As a general rule, trust no one.

2. PVP i think is the base of the game and is one of the best done in all MMOs. This really is world PvP with pirating, small scale gangs, large fleet battles and more.

3. The player base is one of the most mature i have ever experienced. It is unlikely you will encounter kids yelling and throwing tantrums but you always can encounter a thick headed adult too.

4. The game is complex and to master it you have to assimilate am enormous amount of information, this means you will have to read a lot besides the game, every nerd’s dream.

5. The game runs on one single server. This means that what you do actually matters and has an impact on the world. It is very interesting to hear stories about wars, diplomacy, betrayals, and more fascinating is that you can be part of them.

My Top 10 Worst Roman Emperors

August 13, 2013

Well we had the best, now let’s see if we can pin the worst emperors down. This was an even harder top to make than the previous, worst as best is a relative term but I tried to put up the emperors who through their demented behavior affected the economy, the people, the senate, themselves and any other poor soul that happened to be around them. Moreover it is difficult on some emperors to determine if they were actually bad or what was written by them was propaganda or strictly subjective especially in the cases where no contemporary works survived. Nonetheless let us give it a try.

10. Domitian

Domitian was notorious for his cruelty to ensure his authority and power. He is said to have invented a new method of torture which involved burning the sexual organs of his victims. He hated the nobility and also persecuted lots of Jews and Christians. Domitian started an unsuccessful campaign in Dacia and caused a military and financial disaster.

9. Maximinus Thrax

The Thracian origin of Thrax did no good of ensuring the liking of the Senate. That and the fact that he did not trust anyone so he had most of his friends, advisors and benefactors murdered. He went and made campaigns against people who did not rebel against Rome and for this the roman people hated him.

Thrax has been blamed as causing the Crisis of the Third Century. When his Praetorian Guard had enough of him so they stabbed him in the back, beheaded him, his son and his advisers and put their heads on poles around Rome’s walls.

8. Caracalla

Caracalla started his sole reign with an interesting fact. He murdered his co emperor and his brother, Geta. He told the Senate and troops that Geta wanted to murder him and he killed in self-defense. Of course not all believed him so he started an old fashion purge.

Also it is said that the citizens of Alexandria, Egypt ridiculed his actions with a public play. When Caracalla found out about it he traveled there with his army and ordered a systematic slaughter, plunder and raping of the citizens. According to Cassio Dio 20,000 people were killed.

7. Tiberius

Tiberius succeeded Augustus, the first emperor, but he did not want the job he inherited. He let the Senate rule more in his absence only to return from his villa in Capri to trial and execute traitors and opponents. It is said that in his villa in Capri he held constant orgies, he trained little boys to swim under his thighs and bite him. Even in his late life, having sex with young boys was his favorite pastime.

6. Valentinian III

Valentinian was one of the most useless and worst emperors in the late West Empire (except from Honorius). The empire was breaking under the Vandals and Huns. Lucky for Valentinian he had Aetius, a great military commander, who drove barbarians back. However Valentinian jealous of his victories assassinated him, killing his protector. He not only lacked the ability to govern the empire in a time of crisis, but aggravated its dangers by his self-indulgence and vindictiveness.

5. Honorius

There is no redeeming word or a positive thing to say about him. Honorius was racist, wasteful, cowardly and would betray his most useful subjects due to jealousy. He executed Stilicho, one of Rome’s most skilled generals, he angered the Goths and other Germanics enough that they stormed Italy and sacked Rome in 410. Such is his reign described by Procopius that when he heard Rome had perished he cried out because he thought his rooster died (he was named Rome), but when was told that was not the animal but the city he was very relieved.

4. Elgabalus

Born in Syria, he became ruler at just 14 bringing with him his worship for the eastern god Elagabalus/Nicknamed after the god, the emperor also had children tortured and sacrificed. And he was infamous for his sexual proclivities: He married a Vestal Virgin, slept with men, cross-dressed, and married a male slave. Cassius Dio reported that Elagabalus would paint his eyes, epilate his hair and wear wigs before prostituting himself in taverns, brothels, and even in the imperial palace. He offered vast sums of money to any physician who could equip him with female genitalia.

3. Commodus

Commodus adored the gladiatorial games, saw himself as Hercules, so much so that he personally entered many of them and fought alongside the gladiators, who were all criminals and slaves. This severely offended the entire Empire, especially the Senate. Commodus once ordered all the cripples, hunchbacks, and generally undesirables in the city to be rounded up, thrown into the arena, and forced to hack one another to death with meat cleavers.

A complete megalomaniac who even renamed Rome after himself, the legions were renamed Commodianae, the Senate was entitled the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people themselves were all given the name Commodianus.

2. Nero

Here’s a little background on how Nero treated his loved ones: He divorced his first wife, then had her beheaded and brought her head to Rome so his second wife could gloat over it. He kicked his second wife, Poppaea, to death when she was pregnant with their second child. When saw a young boy who looked like Poppaea, he married him, forced him to dress as a woman, and had him castrated. If this wasn’t enough he killed his own mother too.

Compared to all that, the fact that Nero climbed a stage and sang while Rome burned seems almost benign. But when the cost of rebuilding the city led Nero to extreme methods, like having rich men name him as their heir and then forcing them to commit suicide, the people had had it. He was essentially forced to commit suicide. His last words: “Oh, what an artist the world is losing!”

1. Caligula

Caligula is believed by many to have been insane, it is said that he would walk around his private palace at night and order the sun to rise, or rage at the moon, he proclaimed himself a god of Rome to be worshiped by the people, he had the heads of many statues of Roman gods removed and replaced with his own. He liked to dress up like many famous gods and goddesses of Rome and demanded that everyone in his presence refer to him as divine. It is said that Caligula once tried to make his favorite race horse a senator of Rome, he had a marble stall made that was filled with expensive Roman furniture where he would invite special guests to attend dinners with the horse.

Caligula liked to attend and take part in the torture and execution of many criminals, and personal enemies. Caligula had the emperor’s palace turned into a brothel where he would rape whomever he pleased, he publicly had sex with his three sisters at banquets and games.

He threw lavishes orgies and parties, he spent so much he bankrupt the Empire. For all his faults emperor Tiberius before him ‘counted coppers’ and filled the treasury with 2,700,000,000 sesterces that Caligula wasted them all.

Caligula was eventually stabbed to death by his own private guards. It is said that the murder was similar to that of Julius Caesar. He was stabbed by 30 times by the conspirators led by a man named Cassius.


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