Monthly Archives: July 2013

Poll of the Week 31.07.13

Sunday Things 28.07.13

Top Ten – Dogs in Video Games

10. Mojo

180px-OB-creature-MojoThis pooch lives in the Anvil Fighter’s Guild in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. He’s a loyal guild-dog, and technically a full member of the guild itself.

9. PaRappa

parappaThat loveable rapping dog/thing. Remember kids, learning can be fun!

8. Dogmeat

dogmeatMan’s best post-apocalyptic friend, Dogmeat appears in Fallout 3 (and his ancestor in the original games), and will be a loyal companion if you help him out. And he fetches things for you too!

7. Dog (Resident Evil 4)

dogs_residentevil4If you choose to make Leon help out this dog, you will be rewarded. He’ll make the El Gigante fight that little bit easier.

6. Peter Puppy

peter_puppy_by_edyouassbaka-d58q8d6Earthworm Jim’s friend, Peter Puppy is a dog who changes into a monster when threatened. A useful trait, except when he goes for Jim.

5. Barbas

barbasEveryone’s favourite talking dog, Barbas is Clavicus Vile’s companion, though they don’t always see eye to eye on his nefarious Daedric doings.

4. Dog (Fable II)

fable-2-dog-2If Dogmeat was good at finding stuff for you, he’d be in a close second to your treasure tracking pal from Fable II. This guy is a whiz at finding those troublesome dig spots.

3. Dog (Dragon Age: Origins)

dragonageoriginswardogcStrictly not called a dog but a “Mabari War Hound”, these vicious beasts are loyal and deadly, being used by the protagonist and the Fereldan military alike. (Mild early-game spoilers in this next clip.)

2. Arcanine

ArcanineIn my opinion, there is no cooler Pokemon than an Arcanine. Fire-wolf, species is listed as a “Legendary Pokemon”, what’s not to love?

1. Amaterasu

amaterasu_6I almost feel like taking back what I just wrote about Arcanine, because Okami’s Amaterasu is truly legendary. The sun goddess, Amaterasu paints the world good again, quite literally. The art style in this game is fantastic, along with the music, setting and feel of it. A majestic place for the top dog (pun intended).

So, that’s it! Were there any dogs you think should have made it into the top ten and didn’t? Comment below and let me know!

 

Poll of the Week 24.7.13

 

Sunday Things 21.7.13

Top Ten – Zombie-killing Weapons

10. Sniper Rifle

Dead_rising_Sniper_Rifle_Zombies

Exactly the wrong situation for a rifle.

The weapon of choice for the single, isolated zombie, the sniper rifle requires skill, but is all but useless in close-range.

9. Cricket Bat

If used by Shaun, super-effective.

If used by Shaun, super-effective.

Strong, durable, and with a good weight behind it, a cricket bat is a must-have if fighting in London. Or if you’re near a shed and have run out of old records and cutlery.

8. Chainsaw

Zombies: Getting their own back.

Zombies: Getting their own back.

Many people love the chainsaw, and with good reason, it sure is effective at slicing up zombies (or Leon Kennedy). I would have ranked it higher, if not for a little thing called fuel.

7. Golf Club

Always look your best when under the strains of the apocalypse.

Always look your best when under the strains of the apocalypse.

This one is similar to the cricket bat, but can be swung faster and is made of metal. Can’t be a bad thing. Plus, look dapper while surviving? Must be a plus.

6. Car

After the first few hits, I assume the grill would take no more zombies.

After the first few hits, I assume the grill would take no more zombies.

Never forget, a car is not just used for transport. A zombie in the middle of the road? Getting out is a risk, so run it down!

5. Plants

Looks like a bellsprout, but is far more effective.

Looks like a bellsprout, but is far more effective.

The plants are on our side, at least. A team of mutant sunflowers, mushrooms and flowers will stand you in good stead. Presuming you have a garden to put them in.

4. Mines/Explosives

Zombie_DynamitePrevention is better than cure, and the apocalypse is no exception. If you have to hold up in a house and have a bit of time, lay your traps down!

3. Handgun

Having Ocelot on your side can only be a good thing. Until he betrays you to take down The Patriots.

Having Ocelot on your side can only be a good thing. Until he betrays you to take down The Patriots.

Nothing better than a good sidearm. The last thing you want is to be stuck needing a reload and having no backup weapon the the zombie who’s all up in your business.

2. Axe

I-[AXE]-ZOMBIES---(MENS)The final melee of the list, an axe will be your best melee weapon long-term. Useful for beheading the undead and breaking down obstacles in your path.

1. Shotgun

The more, the better.

The more, the better.

Let’s face it, the shotgun is your best friend come the zombie invasion. Powerful and easy to use, good at close to mid range. It’s a must have.

Any good ones you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comment below!

Poll of the Week 17.7.13

 

Sunday Things 14.7.13

Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins is in-depth, thought provoking, brutal, fun and expansive. I’ve read a lot of criticisms of this game, but in my opinion, having played through recently as a mage character, DA:O really is one of the best single player RPGs around.

You play as a Grey Warden, an order of legendary warriors, rogues and mages, dedicated to fighting the darkspawn, evil creatures who periodically return in an event known as a Blight to screw things up for everyone. If you’ve ever played the Gears of War games, darkspawn look pretty similar to the Locust from that. And, as you might expect from any Bioware RPG worth its salt, you’re backed up by an array of loyal companions, from assassin to templar, from dog to dwarf, pious rogue, stoic warrior, from wise-cracking sexy mage to old “do-gooder” mage. It’s a full house!

Would also be an excellent line-up to a medieval fantasy themed sitcom.

Would also be an excellent line-up to a medieval fantasy themed sitcom.

The meat of the issue, of course, is combat, and DA:O has this down in spades (to continue to poker analogy). Fights are more active than in the KotOR games reviewed previously (see KotOR and KotOR2), and combat is more flexible and fluid. Importantly though, not only does the combat function well, it looks fantastic. Every skill and spell looks good, and auto-finishing kill animations make slaying darkspawn, ogres and (0f course) dragons even more satisfying than before.

Along with all this comes the usual array of RPG elements, such as thieving for the rogues, merchants and side-quests. No real faults here, but nothing much to shout about. There is a nice amount of revisiting past locations to complete new quests, which helps to pad out the gameplay nicely. As questing itself goes, DA:O sticks to the basics, which is no bad thing indeed.

Redcliffe

Redcliffe

However, I feel I must rant about one quest during the main story in particular, one quest which actually made me give up on the game entirely when I first played through it.

The quest in question is called Lost in Dreams, and, without wishing to spoil any of the story, occurs when you are ascending the mage’s tower. You become trapped in “The Fade”, the dreamworld in which spirits and demons inhabit. Your objective: get out of this dreams to carry on climbing the tower. Simple? Hell no. If I remember correctly, without using a walkthrough, this sub-quest took me somewhere in the region of two hours. And that is two hours where you have no party members with you, travelling back and forth through different dreams realms with no real guidance or clues as to which way to travel. In short, it is quite literally a nightmare. As such, I’m putting up a walkthrough to the section here, but even following this guide to the letter, which I thoroughly recommend, it’ll take a fair amount of time to plough through this arduous section.

Other than that, the story is decent, though won’t stretch your preconceptions an awful lot. However, take a look at this trailer.

In a word: Awesome

First released: November 2009 ; Published by EA ; Developed by Bioware, Edge of Reality

Poll of the Week 10.7.13

 

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