Archive for the ‘Interactive Comms’ Category

I decided to take the map I made in Sketchup and make it into an RPG world map and then make a game for it using RPG Maker VX Ace. Here is the progress I have so far:

Original model:

level concept view 1

RPG Maps:

RPG Maker Screen1

RPG Maker Screen2

RPG Maker Screen3

RPG Maker Screen4

RPG Maker Screen5

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These are some ideas I had of starting points for creating games which I hope to be able to use in the future.

  1. Set in the future?A world where oxygen is running thin and most of the planet is dying. Corporations monopolise oxygen and use it to have power.
  2. Daemons that feed on the evil in people they cultivate.Responsible for horrific events in the world.

    Play as spirit detective or hunter, hunting them down or as a daemon causing chaos and feeding.

    Race of daemons called “The Sai” and come in many forms The lowest being a parasite that is invisible to normal people slowly feeding on the bad deeds and influencing like a small voice till it fully corrupts the host and assimilates taking over its form.

    Another form of the Sai is one that keeps to the shadows and influences through dreams, keeps a connection to the target through an item they keep with them all the time e.g. phone, wedding ring etc.

    Another is a shape shifter who influences the host through little pushes and encouragements helping helping them reach their peak of evil.

    Predator Sai hunt the weak of their kind and devour them and their host at the same time usually biding their time till the host reaches its peak so they can get a greater meal. They evolve faster then most Sai and grow more rapidly the more they consume.

  3. A master thief who lets himself be captured to kill a man in the most secure prison in the world. Getting in and killing him is easy getting out is the hard part.Keeps his sword in his stomach and regurgitates when needed pulling it out of his throat putting his hand in his mouth.

    Ability can be used to store other weapons and items.

  4. Necromanced creatures that can only sustain physical form in the living world by absorbing life energy from humans.
  5. A game that asks the player a number of questions to know what his/her fears are and what there likes and desires are. The game play will be navigating a maze that is randomly generated every time were the player will run into his/her fears or desirers but some may change from one to the other to keep the player on their tows and make them paranoid about what to trust and if its worth the risk or not.

I am going to look at and compare the magazines Edge (issue 240) and Games (No. 129) comparing one article from previews, reviews and looking at the other topics in each of the magazines. Both these magazines cost £4.99 making them more expensive than other gaming magazines but still have different approaches to things.

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Previews:

The preview I am going to compare is of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch from both magazines. As soon as you look at the magazine articles side by side you can That Games has tried to showcase more of the games visuals and has a page dedicated to screen shots with captions unlike Edge which just has one image filling the whole page and a small amount of information about the publisher release date and what platform its on. So from an aesthetic standpoint Games has done a much better job showcasing the game and its visual style almost telling you what the game is about without reading anything. This is important for catching the eye of someone who has never heard of the game before and peak their interest enough to read the article.

Games Preview:

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Edge Preview:

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Both magazines have different starting points, Edge starts by talking about why the game has taken two years to be released in the USA and Europe, while Games starts off by talking about the art style of the game and the orchestral score (Edge never mentions the music). Both openings are fine and would just fall to preference either you want to know the background of its localization or hear about the visual feats and sound quality personally I prefer to hear about the actual content of the game were Edge comments on the voice acting and the effort of localization that has gone into this game but I preferred reading about the atmosphere and world presentation I can look forward to if I bought this game.

Next Edge goes onto talking about the Games story and how the game feels like an interactive movie briefly summarizing plot points stating the game only opens up when the familiars are introduced (as this is when the main RPG elements are introduced). Where as Games covers the game play mechanics of the game telling you all the things you can look forward to in and out of battle. Both these sections gave me a good idea of what I can look forward to from Ni No Kuni but Games once again has the edge by telling you about the different game mechanics like magical lock picks, spells to converse with the dead and a brief incite to how the familiar system works, this once again does a much better job at selling the game to me.

The final thing both articles cover are their personal nit picks with the game. Edge is worried about the different variations of cut scenes (in game and animated) might take away the seance of control the players have or disrupt the flow of the story. While Games only criticizes that they cant tell what specific audience the game is aimed at because of the Ghibli art style and in depth RPG elements.

Both magazines also include a brief history of the developers with a list of the past games they have worked on. I think this is a very useful section to help people fined a game they may be familiar with by that company and have more confidence that this new title will be good because of the works hey have done in the past.

Overall in previews Games sold the game to me much better than Edge did because of the way it presented the visuals of the game and the way it set the atmosphere as well as explain some of the game play mechanics to let you know what your getting your self into if you decide to pick this title up.

Reviews:

The review I am going to compare is of New Super Mario Bros U from both magazines. Once again you can notice the layout differences of the two straight away, Edge has screen shots all on one page with some captions were as Games has the game screen shots placed throughout the review breaking up the text. I personally prefer the more organised look of Edge in this case as some of Games screen shots are divided by the fold of the center of the page and look like their slightly less sharper images then the ones used by Edge.

Edge Review:

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Games Review:

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Both magazines start things off differently with Games talking about how at first it feels like the same old thing we see in every Mario game until you get to the over world were the game becomes more of its own thing where as Edge starts by talking about how beautiful the transition from SD to HD has turned out and lists some of the level designs. Both set a mode for your expectations of the game but Edge comes across much more positive where as Games comes across more like a pleasant surprise that is isn’t just going to be the same thing all the way through which is one of the biggest questions answered straight away because the screen shots just make it look like all the other Mario titles. I think the line that represents this most from the review is “ Luckily, niggling feelings of repetitiveness soon take a back seat as Mario begins to delve further into the game’s over world.”.

Edge then goes onto talking about the world map and all the different areas and mini games you can find as well as the new enemies powers and allies which brings them to the conclusion that the any surprises in the game are in its content and not in its form. Where as Games talks about the controller integration and how the tablet is useless in the single player (which Edge similarly states later on in their article). The tablet shows its stuff in the challenge modes and they cover some of the new assist additions that have different powers to help the player progress by lighting dark areas etc. they are useful but you can beat the stage without them. Both magazines talked about the new assist characters and their ability but Games was the only one that told you how to find them and that they were not necessary to complete the stages this feels to me more like a tip from someone who has plaid the game than just a statement of the facts about the new additions.

By the end of the Reviews both magazines give the game an 8 but Edges score is not very clear its just an 8 in a black box next to the text I had to flick through the magazine to check the other articles to make sure it was the score. Where as Games gives a very clear 8/10 with Verdict written next to it in block capitals. This gives me the impression that the scores in Edge are more like after thoughts and that the audience they are writing for is more interested in the articles contents than a number on a page.

Games Score System:

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Edge Score System:

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Conclusion:

Besides previews and reviews the two magazines cover a verity of topics to do with the gaming industry Games discusses what the big companies are doing from new hardware to financial problems as well as having a section to talk about retro games. Edge on the other hand focuses more on the gaming industry as a whole talking about the percentage of females represented in the gaming industry and has interviews with designers which brings me to the audience I think Games is aimed at people who are interested in knowing how the game plays what the mood is going to be like and weather they should buy it so more towards people who play games and like to see a quick and clear score telling them how good a rating it has revived. While edge is set out much more like a book would be and is far more about the technical sides of things, than the review scores, aiming at a audience who are more interested in what’s going on in the gaming industry than what games they can buy.

One Piece Kaizoku Musou:

One Piece Kaizoku Musou is a game adaptation of the first half of the One Piece story going through every major event up to the story’s time skip (Buggy – Marineford).

The main campaign will take about 10 hours to complete with variations depending on the difficulty. 6/10

The game has a lot of replay ability with its multiplayer, challenge modes and other story mode which allows you to play story levels as the other straw hats. This will add hours of game play as you can also level your characters and get better equipment for them so there is a lot to do for the completionists. 8/10

The story is loyal to the manga mostly but some areas are stripped to their most basic elements and some key villains are skipped. It’s a lot of fun to play as your favourite characters from the show but the game doesn’t do much to build the characters backstories itself I think it relies a fair amount on the people buying this game been fans of the series already knowing who everyone is. Overall it’s a fun experience for fans and it’s simple enough that a lot of newcomers will be able to enjoy. 7/10

The game is incredibly easy to play I played the Korean version of the game and was able to pick up the controls quickly without been able to read the tutorials. The game play is rather repetitive were you just kill enemies move to the next area and then rinse and repeat till you get to the boss. Thankfully the main campaign has some variation including plat forming elements and other objectives but these are few in comparison. 6/10

The game is a lot of fun to me but this may be because I’m a fan of the series its very fast pace with plenty of combinations to pull off making you feel good as you level your favourite characters. When you finish the game you get to see a sort of alternate reality for the show which is a nice surprise for the fans and made it more worthwhile to me but the difficulty levels are all over ranging from average to ridiculously hard depending on equipment and levels making the sense of accomplishment not as great as some other games I’ve played. 6/10

The game has a multiplayer mode both online and split screen but only co-op I feel the game could have benefited more from a verses mode but the coop is still a welcome addition. There is also a personal score everyone has on their online card and as they play games they gain more points maxing out at 9999 showing how experienced a player they are. 5/10

The art style is the best part of the game the characters look amazing and move smoothly. All the textures are loaded straightaway and the load screens are quick. The only downside is some of the trash mobs you fight have very little variation to about 6-8 different types per faction this may seem like a lot but when you’re fighting 300-1000 enemies per match you notice this but tend to not bet too put off by it as there not focused on too much. 9/10

The sound if very loyal to the show and sets the mood perfectly. All of the scores they use would not seem out of place if they were used in the actual show. All the Japanese voice cast do their roles perfectly and convey there emotions extremely well. 10/10

Overall I give One Piece Kaizoku Musou a 7/10 It’s a must have for One Piece fans but if your not a fan of the series and not invested in the One piece universe I would give it a 5/10 it’s still an average game but going into this blind you may end up very confused as the game relies quite a lot on you knowing the story.

 

FTL (Faster than Light):

FTL is a space simulator game were you are a federation ship with important plans on how to defeat the rebels on board and you have to make it back to your main fleet traveling through 8 sectors before the rebels catch you. Once you have completed your mission you have to intercept and fight the rebel flagship.

The story could theoretically be finished in 2 hours but the game is extremely hard and to add to the difficulty you cannot save without exiting the game making it impossible to just load and chose a different option if you mess up you have to start from the beginning. It relies heavily on luck and may take 2-15+ hours to complete a campaign depending on how lucky you are. 7/10

There is plenty of replay ability as the game has 9 ships (8 to unlock) and each has an alternate layout you need to unlock making a grand total of 17 ships to unlock. The missions are also randomly generated so no play through will be the same. There are also 7 different alien species to recruit to your ship all with their strengths and weaknesses. This greatly increases your play time if you’re a completionist. 10/10

The story is very basic and nothing special the games strength however is that this blank canvas allows you to create your own story with your crew and leads to a very fulfilling experience when you actually succeed and you feel bad when your crew starts to die. 7/10

The game is very easy to pick up and will take about 15mins to learn but many play troughs to master. The missions are randomly generated to as you jump from point to point you are presented with a new text based missions that will lead to you picking correct options, more options become available depending on your crew and equipment, or fighting the enemy ship or intruders who have boarded your ship. This variety keeps the game fresh and makes sure no play through is the same. 9/10

As I stated before you get very attached to your crew and feel accomplished when you actually succeed and your strategies pay off it defiantly oozes with content for your £6.99. 8/10

There is no multiplayer in this game and this is a feature I feel the game is missing this seems like the perfect game to have ship battles with your friends to see who is the better strategist. 0/10

The game uses a very simple art style and the sprites are 8bit models this doesn’t detract from the experience at all loading screens are none existent and colours are bright and clear. 7/10

The music fits the tone and mood of the game no track seems out of place or gets irritating and has a very retro feel to it complimenting the graphics. 7/10

Overall I give FTL a 7/10 its amazing value for your money and I’d recommend it to sci-fi fans and RPG fans and for £6.99 you can’t go wrong.

Star Ocean the Last Hope:

Star Ocean the Last Hope is a prequel to the rest of the franchise and follows the journey of Edge Maverick who starts off as normal ship staff but rises up to the position of captain and you travel the universe collecting crew members from different world. Your mission is to find a planet for the remaining population of the human race to inhabit because the earth is uninhabitable after the devastation of world war III, most people live underground or on the moon base. As you travel the universe you discover a threat to all planets and there people and take up arms to stop it from destroying everything.

The main story will take you about 75+ hours to complete with some grinding needed to beat some of the more difficult bosses whose difficulty level spikes out of no ware.  10/10

Star Ocean has two dungeons for you to explore after you have beaten the game and the difficulty of these areas is an extreme jump from any part of the game adding another 50+ hours of content depending how skilled you are and how much time you grind for levels and farm for mats. You also unlock harder difficulty levels, during which you get the option to keep or swap a crewmember who you have no choice but to swap in your first play through changing the strategy’s you use and the ending. There are also tonnes of collectables like battle trophy’s and trophies as well as mini games which are the arena and bunny racing. 10/10

The world is fleshed out and the characters are fully developed to the point they get their own ending if you build a strong enough relationship with them. This leads to having your favourites you always use in battle. 9/10

The control system is simple and the story missions are your basic go through the dungeon and kill the boss but the game does it well you don’t feel like your dungeon grinding because of the size of the maps and leeway for exploration. There are also plenty of side missions to do which can vary from your basic kill x-amount of enemies and collect x-amount of items to searching for rare ingredients located all over the universe. The variation is there to keep it fresh but some missions feel a bit tedious at times. 9/10

After completing this game I felt a sense of accomplishment and felt I got more than my money’s worth out of the product and wanted to play more. It’s one of the few games that has been so good I started a new game as soon as I finished it. 9/10

Star Ocean has no multiplayer though I don’t see any way this would fit in besides a verses battle mode. 0/10

The visuals are sharp, polished and detailed and lean a bit more towards the anime style of visuals but as 3D models. All the textures are instantly there and the load times are fast and don’t take you out of the game. 9/10

The sound track is very complimentary to the scenes and environment and the voice acting is solid giving you the option to use the original Japanese audio with subtitles. 9/10

My overall score for Star Ocean the Last Hope is a 9/10. It is a must own for RPG fans looking for a game with a fleshed out story and characters.

Gravity Rush Review!

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Interactive Comms
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Gravity Rush:

Gravity Rush is a superhero origin story about a young girl named Kat and her cat Dusty. Kat’s special ability is to control gravity so when you’re flying round the town of Hekseville you’re actually falling and just changing were the pull of gravity is coming from. Kat, who has lost her memory, runs into a mysterious black cat (Dusty) that gives her the power to control gravity. Kat will use this ability in order to protect people from the threat of a Gravity Storm and the Nevi monsters that have appeared along with it.

The story mode will take you about 10 hours to complete if you ignore the challenge missions and don’t search for gems but if you do this expands the games time by a large amount also allowing you to use the gems found and earned to upgrade your abilities. 6/10

The games replay ability comes purely from the side missions and collecting of crystals, people lost in anomalies and rare game to hunt as well as trophy’s and DLC missions these could more than double the games play time and for a hand held game that’s not bad. 6/10

The plot is your basic superhero that has forgotten who they are but fights for the people scenario but what Gravity Rush does well is making you feel like you make a difference when you rescue parts of the city from the void which restores the city and gives you more areas to explore. The story gets more depth and becomes more unique as you get further into the game as well. 8/10

Gravity Rush is  an extremely easy game to learn and after a few missions you should be a master at controlling your shifting abilities quickly the story missions in gravity rush fall into a few categories fight, follow, race, transport, find and stealth missions as well as a few challenge missions which vary on the fighting and racing type this variety is enough to keep the game from feeling repetitive and slight differences in how you perform each one apart from the locations keep them challenging and engaging. 9/10

Gravity rush is a very satisfying game to play as you progress more of the city is recovered and you feel like you make a difference as well as rise to fame from out of the gutters. 8/10

Gravity rush has no multiplayer but I don’t see many applications for this mode except for racing your friends round a track. The only thing that could be considered multiplayer is you can compare your challenge scores with your friends by looking at the updates while on the vita menu this can lead to wanting to beat your friend’s hi-score. 3/10

Gravity Rush is a sell shaded game leaning more towards an anime look and building textures are there as soon as you teleport to each part of the city the only part that still needs time to load are the people appearing first as ghosts then slowly phase into existence. The cities are well detailed as you go beneath and under them you can see all the pipe work and guarders holding everything together it is visually impressive and shows what’s in store for the capabilities of the Vita 9/10

Gravity Rush has a decent sound track setting the mood for the locations. The voice acting is all in French but it sounds like a solid performance. 7/10

Overall I give Gravity Rush a 7/10 it’s a must own for any PS Vita owner and will keep you entertained for a long time, perfect for gaming on the go.