Saturday, September 08, 2012

Many moons, many games

Many moons, many games played, many life changes, and many hours in the clouds of Bespin.

I almost can't believe so much time has passed. Last time I wrote here was November 2011. It is now September 2012 and we are just shy of one year since my last entry on this website. God forbid I should die and not have explained my last year of video gaming. So without further ado let us recap some of the finer (& mentally scarring) games that I have played over the course of the previous year ~

 Well, we moved away from the Wii as the main gaming console in our home, we loved our time with the Wii but when moving to an HD television for Netflix we needed an HD console and it came down to a choice between the PS3 or Xbox 360.  Ultimately we chose the PS3 over the Xbox for the blu-ray & free multi-player gaming.  The fact that I can plug and play any USB external hard drive was also a large selling point.  Nice to be able to access videos, etc. from my external hard drive.  So far we are really enjoying the PS3 due to the comfort of playing from the couch.  The constricting thing in the past was that my office is confined to a small rectangle and made gaming on my PC for extended periods kind of a drag.  Though my office does have a Nintendo 64 loaded with Donkey Kong for my son who could play that while I played something on the PC, it just wasn't that great for co-op gaming due to the layout. We now have a lot more fun playing together from the couch in HD with the PS3. I am enjoying playing a multitude of games with him as he is now four years old and quite good at a variety of games. Heck, he is better than me at Megaman Powered Up for PSP which always amazes me.  He is quite in love with Little Big Planet and due to similar platforming elements from my youth I find it quite enjoyable as well. The drop-in style multi-player allows me to enter and assist him in tackling harder parts at any time which is always a great feature to any game.  This is definitely a kid's game at heart but the creative level design and wide array of things to do makes playing it with my son a great deal of fun. We originally purchased Little Big Planet 1 but Little Big Planet 2 came with our free month subscription to PSN+. They have added a lot of great new features and unique activities. Ranging from flying on bees to running on hamsters and all kinds of majestic fun, including a large variety of new costumes and hidden secrets far and wide.  Even if we let the PSN+ subscription die we will purchase part 2 for all of the new features ~ The PSN exclusives also have a few hidden jewels as well, for example I really enjoyed the magical adventure simply known as Journey.  Although I have only played the demo this game is at the top of my list for my next purchase.  The game reminds me of an epic Zelda-like adventure and I can't wait to dive into it when time permits.  From what I saw in the demo this is an excellent composition of dream-like music, innovative game play and eerie, desolate desert worlds to explore.  Once I purchase it and get some time to progress a bit I will likely update this journal with some details.

I suppose it would only be right to update my last post from a year ago.  So whatever happened to the Bioware MMO Star Wars The Old Republic? I did indeed level up and enjoyed the solo game while leveling but I quickly abandoned the game after losing interest due to lack of PvP, poor performance and an overall misguided experience. I would have to list PvP as the strongest reason why I quickly lost interest in the game but there were many other issues that contributed to my decision to truly jump ship before it inevitably sank.  Take into consideration that this is something that I have not done in the past.  I had maxed a character or multiple characters in recent times in the games Aion, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft, Rift, Diablo III, Age of Conan and many others...I leveled every one of my characters to maximum before giving up on any of those titles. I just foresaw something dark and brooding within SWTOR and I spotted it early as I progressed through the game.  The experience could not carry me and there were far too many options on the game market completely superior to this game. The leveling of my first character through the storyline was indeed great, unfortunately it was literally the only thing going for this Bioware MMO and although I did enjoy that experience on multiple classes in beta and one character in live there is no way I would repeat that strictly PvE experience after I reached a high level.  I did play the game at launch and I enjoyed my Twi'lek Smuggler (acquiring my very own Millenium Falcon was an incredible experience) but in the end there were far too many factors contributing to the games demise. The performance was lacking in PvP and it was common to also see 15 fps around the auctioneers in the Rebel Fleet.  The game was simply not optimized and the nail in the coffin was when James Ohlen (head of design for SWTOR) went on to publicly state the following only a month after the game was released:

 “The thing is, for the most part, 95 per cent – oh I can’t give you the exact percentage – most of our players aren’t really having performance concerns," he said. “However, we know that it’s important that there is a smaller group of people usually with lower end machines that are having problems in some areas. And one of the most important things for us to grow our service is to continue to bring in more players, including those players who only have low-end machines.” PC Gamer

How insulting.  For the senior lead director of one of the largest budgeted MMO's in recent history to have the nerve to blame the game issues on our computers without taking even an ounce of responsibility?  I don't run a super computer by any means but my computer can handle any game out there on full settings so this comment was out of line.  There was something wrong and it was not my machine. Unfortunately to James Ohlen it was irrelevant that I could play literally any other MMO or next-gen game on my computer without any issues, he simply had the audacity to say that the only people affected were those "usually with lower end machines".  After a month of frustration with the performance in-game Ohlen's irresponsible comments were the deal breaker.  On top of this the utter lack of open world PvP was a huge downfall as well.  I only saw a few players on one occasion who were PvP flagged and this was already around mid-level.  The encounter happened on Tatooine when I went to visit Sarlacc.  I had a quick scuffle with the result of me killing one of their players and the other escaping.  It was fun but that was literally the only time I saw enemy players to PvP with as I leveled. It seemed Bioware forced opposing faction quest lines that originated in different zones so players would not cross paths regardless of whether you were on a PvP server.  This was a terrible choice in game design if you ask me.  Not to mention that if I had to play a scenario of PvP to get away from the questing for a bit the Huttball announcer was enough to make me sell my Darth Malgus statue in a heart beat, top that with poor performance and overall uninspired game play and I knew this game would not survive within the first week of playing it at live. At approximately 8 levels to go until max level I just quit. Who knows, perhaps the game has been improved since I quit but that is unlikely, there were many flaws from the ground up in this title and I am glad that I sold my box when the game was still brand new, the free to play announcement was not a surprise to me by any means.  I saw it and knew that if I ever wanted to sell the collector's edition that I would have to do it immediately...I was 100% correct.

I played as a Sawbones healing Smuggler which was quite rough on the edges but in the end it was a lot of fun and had a unique style of healing, or at least conceptually.  Whether or not it was implemented so well is another story. I found the style entertaining and it kept me coming back for more as I unlocked my talent trees but the further I got the weaker the Sawbones became, compared to any of my alt characters this one was seemingly the weakest in all tests.  Another frustrating thing was that anytime I would receive a new helmet upgrade my Lekku (head tentacles) would clip through the helmet and look was like they didn't understand how to make the helmets fit a Twi'Lek head so every helmet had a graphical error.  Although that was just another annoyance in graphics and overall design choices it just showed the lack of polish that was truly lacking from this game.  I know everybody that played the game was curious where all of the time and money went in this games development because it was shocking that even a new game like RIFT from a brand new company (Trion) was four billion times better at launch with more features included than SWTOR.  There should have been a set of helmets that worked with the Twi'Lek race or they should not have made the race available.  The sum of this story is that I eventually dropped the game once I understood it to the core.  I literally sold the SWTOR Collector's box and moved on to different games faster than you can say "Yoda".  After being spoiled with so many great games over the last year it was hard to continue playing a game that constantly tested my nerves.  So instead of playing SWTOR I enjoyed other games on the PS3 such as Spiderman: Shattered Dimenions, Ninja Gaiden 3 and many other titles outside of the PS3 also, one of them being the now outrageously popular League of Legends.

I recently found some old footage from last year and I patched it together quickly to free up a bit more space on my hard drive.  It is a 5 man pug with me playing as Twitch in League of Legends.  I started at mid and worked my way up to 6-0 and began recording as I continue strong throughout the match & eventually shut out the opposing competitors.  I played many skirmishes last year over the course of a few weeks.  It became quite common that I achieved solid results while playing Twitch and was beginning to experiment with end game builds as you see in this video I select a few unusual late game items.  Besides playing Twitch I also play quite a lot of Teemo and Warwick.  I would have to say they are my favorite but I recently purchased the relatively new Rengar and have enjoyed playing him as well.  I suppose I enjoy LoL due to the fact that I can log in and play a few games every now and then without feeling pressured to keep up.  I haven't even leveled my summoner to end game and have no concerns to truly is just a fun time killer once in a blue moon.  Just launch the game, patch up, play a few matches and then log off for a few weeks.  Works nicely with my schedule.

Here is that video from an external hard drive exhibiting a 15-0-9 pug match where I play as Twitch:

 Diablo III is of course another huge title that was released in my absence from writing and obviously I began playing DIII with the world during beta and launch.  Of course during this time I was also casually playing World of Warcraft which I purchased a 1 year subscription to acquire Diablo III beta and a copy of the game at release for free.

My Diablo III experience has been nice, I played the beta and I was also playing on launch day.  I have a Barbarian in Act I Inferno where I sort of hit a road block but that is not the reason I have not been playing. Although I am looking forward to the new changes with Legendary weapons and Paragon levels my lack of attendance in Diablo III as of late is simply because Guild Wars 2 launched and various other titles required my attention as well, on top of life in general always being my priority over games.  Needless to say it has been an exciting year for the gaming industry and the list is really endless regarding the choices of entertainment available.

Most recently I beat the 2011 THQ/Relic title Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine.

I saw this title for PC several times through Steam and pondered purchasing it but with the addition of the PS3 the game was a blessing delivered for free with the PSN+ free month that came with the console box as a code. I thoroughly enjoyed hacking up Greenskins from the comfort of my couch and this title was really a fun & enjoyable ride, albeit a short one. Once the epic campaign storyline is complete the multi-player modes are also a lot of fun which keeps the player busy long after the solo game is complete, I particularly enjoy the Exterminatus mode where four players co-operate to face against waves of Greenskins which level in difficulty over time until you are swarmed by a sea of Greenskins.  Equipped with nothing but a Chainsword and the Emperor's faith the bloodshed is plenty and the intensity is overwhelming at times.

Not only is there multi-player co-op but it also has a versus mode where you are engaged in combat with other real players from across the world, the perspective is a sort of third person view of your characters back.  Prior to combat you customize your look and loadout (a combination of abilities selected by you).  Both the Exterminatus and Versus modes contribute to your online XP which levels you and unlocks ability slots and bonuses through a series of challenges available in each mode.  You begin your online experience as level 1 and can work your way up to level 41.  As a fan of the franchise this title satisfies a craving to slay Orks by the dozens with a buzzing Chainsword or a Thunder Hammer crashing down and flattening enemies into a bloody mess.  To the gamer with no knowledge of the Warhammer universe the fast-pace and utter carnage surrounding you in this game is still enough to peak anybodies interest regardless of their understanding of the subject.  The game play, slick controls, polished graphics, progression & sense of achievement as well as the strong and convincing depiction of the Warhammer 40k Universe all combine to make this game a hidden gem and a game that I thoroughly enjoyed playing.  It might seem a bit linear at times but for a fun game that doesn't take very much commitment I found it to be one of the better titles that I have played in quite some time.

Another delight has been the game Guild Wars 2 which I also anticipated for quite some time.  I have been playing the game on a very casual schedule but it works, there is no subscription and I don't really feel pressured which is a nice thing.  I started off as a Warrior and Thief but after beta when I tested the Mesmer on my live server (Jade Quarry) I quickly fell in love.  It was almost an ominous calling as I named my Mesmer "M I R R O R" which was selected long before I realized the class was built on creating clones and causing confusion with trickery.  At times I felt the class was weak, but when you do succeed due to trickery with cloning, disappearing and evading the enemy, I have to admit that the feeling is quite rewarding indeed.

In other news,  even though I purchased the subscription to World of Warcraft I have not spent very much time playing ever since the most recent changes went live. The changes to the talent system for MoP in WoW were really drastic. So it has been a major learning curve. Even logging in and really investigating my higher end characters seems to be a daunting task. Every one of them is substantially different in terms of abilities, play style, etc.  Perhaps I will take some time to check it out more thoroughly in due time. 

With that said I suppose it is evident that I have been away from this journal for quite some time.  I could write about video games a lot more as there are several titles that I played throughout this year that I did not mention but I will try to add another post soon to cover a few more titles.

 Videos games are one of the world's greatest inventions and remain a shining example of  the evolution of entertainment and art all rolled up into one.  I will conclude by also leaving a link to my Steam personal gallery which contains and shall continue growing with many screenshots from games in my Steam library:

I hope that I can return soon to share more of my gaming adventures with you, at the very least I shall return to write in this journal sooner than my last extended vacation from this journal.

-Secret Cloud

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic - First impressions

Although the beta weekend (Nov. 11th - 13th) seemed incredibly short due to a busy schedule I was still able to play every class on both factions and get a general grasp as to what to expect come launch in December. Here is a brief breakdown sharing my initial impressions on SWTOR. Alas, I realize this is breaking the NDA but SWTOR leak sites have existed for a few months so I do not feel that my silence is necessary. To add to that fact, my opinions are positive & this article will only go towards promoting the game in a positive light & therefore I feel just in my cause. Note: article contains spoilers.

 First off, even though anti-aliasing was disabled for this beta the graphics were still exceptional & they gave a relatively clear picture as to how they will look at launch once the edges are further smoothed with AA enabled. The only place the disabled AA was really noticeable was on the edges of shadows and on certain armor textures or NPC's.  Beyond that everything looked really great.  I believe that Bioware has really listened to the feedback from the community initially criticizing the stylized, child-like graphics that were shared in the initial development stages of SWTOR. Many (including myself) did not like the Clone Wars feel that the early graphics exhibited and it seems that although not fully realistic, they have changed drastically from the first images that I had seen.  There is certainly a larger sense of realism with the characters and NPC's than I had expected. The environments were lush & detailed, with great care taken in regards to plant-life and the overall settings.

The animations and particle effects were second to none. On all classes I really felt great control over my characters and everything seemed fluid. However, although a cool feature, it was quite awkward how your characters torso would rotate towards your target because in certain situations such as running away from your target your characters torso would rotate in an impossible fashion (envision turning a G.I. Joe action figures torso the opposite direction).  It just looked really odd and a bit too flexible in some situations.

As you can see though, I am knit-picking. There really wasn't much to complain about as overall I was blown away by everything that I witnessed.  Even the performance was really great on my rig (GTX 570, Quad-core PC with a measly 3gb of RAM).  I experienced no crashes and very little, if any lag at all. There was no rubber-banding or anything of the sorts for me.  Regarding my fps they fluctuated between 30-100 fps with the lowest I saw in an extremely populated area at a peak time dipping down to 15 fps. Overall the performance as a whole was really great. I intend boosting my RAM for launch as well so that may assist in tweaking it even a bit further during the most strenuous of times but that is yet to be seen.

As promised, SWTOR has a stronger focus on storyline than previous MMO's and it was evident from the beginning. SWTOR features the classic Bioware choice system allowing you to guide your characters future by choices you make.  I feel that they have executed this really well and I found myself actually reading and deciphering every word spoken to me because it wasn't simply a matter of just accepting quests and carrying out the tasks but rather it was fueled by important choices that directed my characters progression towards the Light Side or Dark Side. If you do not pay attention to what is said to you then you might make a wrong choice when selecting your response thus resulting in Dark or Light Side points.  From what I understand these points will be used for items that require certain levels of these points.  So if you want to be using a certain Light Side only device or weapon, etc. you will want to make Light Side choices as often as possible.  Sometimes this can be tricky but with a basic understanding of the Jedi or Sith code you should fair well in making the correct choices (they have since added which type of points you will be rewarded when making a choice).  Admittedly I was caught off-guard at times thinking that I was making a Light Side choice which would actually accrue Dark Side points. Upon reflection after the fact the distribution in these scenarios always made sense. After this happened a few times I began reading even more in-depth and really digesting what was presented to me to make the right choices to gain the points that my particular character was after.  My impression was that this meta-game is not only fun but an interesting change from previous MMO's.  This style of gameplay further engages players into their storylines and provides a bit of a challenge within even the simple task of accepting quests and making choices through dialogue.  I really think this system was implemented well and I commend Bioware for this innovative system.

 Coming into this beta I was certain that I had made my decision to roll with the Sith Empire at launch but mid-way through my opinions changed due to choices being made on the Dark Side.  I was playing on a Sith Warrior and I was attempting to be as sinister as possible to accrue Dark Side points.  As the story progressed I constantly found myself cringing at the decisions I was making to ensure that I could stay within character and rack up the Dark Side points.  This storyline will certainly not disappoint those that want to roleplay the epitome of evil. Of course one could also gain Light Side points even when on a Sith Empire character by not being as dirty as the character that I was playing, but my goal with this character was to truly embody the next "Darth Vader" and with that, choices had to be made as harshly as possible.  It was when I was faced with the choice of murdering a young child in front of his Father to turn the child to the Dark Side that I could no longer continue.  Of course I killed the Father and told the child that it was for his own good and I received a nice chunk of Dark Side points for this cruel act but it just didn't feel right. I felt dirty.  I felt evil.  I felt like Darth Vader.  This just goes to show that Bioware has really worked on these storylines.  To feel emotions from my actions in a video game is rare. Yet this situation really hit the mark.  At this time I decided that I could not carry on.  Even though I tried my hardest to deviate and be as evil as I could it just didn't sit right with me.  I knew right then that I would have to roll with the Republic faction aiming for the Light Side at launch.

The character creator was more expansive than I thought it would be. It gave the choice of multiple races, body types and various other features that I did not expect. Although it does not compete with the choices in a character creator like City of Heroes or Aion it still far exceeds most creators in other modern MMO's.  I felt there were enough choices to create quite a lot of variation in the community and I am glad that it does not allow such ridiculous creations as Aion's character creator. For all classes I was able to customize a character that suited my tastes and this is a good thing.  I was also surprised to see an option to create an overweight character.  I can't really think of any other character creators that allow this choice and surprisingly I saw quite a lot of "Fat Jedi's" due to this, which was quite amusing.

I could probably write forever about my experiences during this weekends beta test but I will sum it up by saying that the game was surprisingly good. Not only is the Star Wars universe something that already has a massive fan base but the story aspects of the game were executed extremely well.  I have still not participated in PvP and I have no clue what the endgame is like but I can say with certainty that regardless of those elements the solo, story-driven play itself will allow for countless hours of fun. If PvP and endgame is done as well then that is just icing on the cake.  If not, it should still be worth the price tag for the entertainment that it provides.

In closing, I have strong hopes for this game but I am still unsure whether or not it will be a massive success.  I think that will depend on PvP and endgame as well as performance on launch.  I eagerly await the release and I am thankful for the opportunity to have seen what is to come in December.  I will definitely be playing and hope that all other aspects of the game come out as nicely as what I experienced this weekend.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Due to an extremely busy schedule I should probably avoid downloading this...but I can't resist.

Might be nice to check out, even if briefly, what I am to expect come December. Luckily I was able to forecast the demand and I ordered the physical Collector's Edition as soon as it was available for sale.  Copies were sold out within the first few weeks and unfortunately people are now reselling them on eBay for $400+. 

As they say, the early Jawa gets the scrap metal.

Can't wait to receive all of these goods:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Perfect Circle Arcane Mage PvP Sessions ~ 70-79 battlegrounds

Unloading everything accumulated from the hard drive in the past two years starting with this very long series of Perfect Circle Arcane Mage videos. This footage features my human mage "Mystero" who was leveling from 70-79 in battlegrounds. In total I think the series is over an hour long of straight-up mage player versus player action mostly against higher leveled players. There is a lot of flag capturing, flag returns, 1 vs. 1, 1 vs. 2, and 1 vs. 3. Contained in the footage is also a lot of hidden surprises. This is the ultimate PvP unload.

The band A Perfect Circle was affiliated with many old school PvP videos from the early days of World of Warcraft and therefore I initially wanted to use three songs of theirs for the first Mage video. I realized quickly that I had a lot more footage than I previously suspected and decided to just keep using the bands songs. Not only did it fit with the Perfect Circle theme but music by this band aligns quite well with any PvP footage you place it to.

Here is the quote from the video description on the youtube series for the Perfect Circle Sessions 1-5:

I called this series "Perfect Circle" because my first ever PvP video was a Mage video that was uploaded in 2007. I always wanted to come full circle to create a new PvP video in 2011 with that same mage. Hologram has come full circle and is now featured in this video as a Human Mage named Mystero. Here you find the secrets of the magic oval. "The Perfect Circle of Magi". Techniques of trickery and wizardry for your success as an arcane mage.

This is actually the same mage from my first ever level 39 mage video uploaded in 2007. Back then he was a Blood Elf mage located on Emerald Dream server. Considering I already had higher level Alliance characters on Tichondrius server (80 Rogue, 80 Druid, 80 Death Knight) I actually decided to change factions for my Blood Elf Mage "Hologram" for all of his rare enchants, gold, cool mounts amongst other benefits. He was my oldest character and therefore I transferred him to join my Alliance characters and share his World of Warcraft history of collectables.

Perfect Circle 1:

Perfect Circle 2:

Perfect Circle 3:

Perfect Circle 4:

Perfect Circle 5:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bionic Commando: Rearmed

Over the course of the past few days I have been playing the remake of Bionic Commando (Rearmed) for the PC. I picked this title up from Steam last January during Mid-week Madness for the very low price of $4.99. Capcom released this updated version in 2008 & it is based on their popular 1987 arcade classic.

I remember playing the old version when it became available on the NES in 1988. This was one year after the title was coming off of a very successful year as Capcom's first arcade title. I was ten years old & at that time the simple prospect of having a bionic, grappling hook for an arm and swinging off of shit while fighting robots was the best concept ever.

This new version Rearmed comes packed with updated graphics as well as more depth in terms of customization. For example, I don't recall having near as many item slots for upgrading armor, weapons, etc. in the old NES version. Despite the added depth one of the best features is that this new rendition stayed true to the roots & retains the trademark, side-scrolling gameplay from the old school NES version. This includes the mini-levels that encompass the Shoot em' up style of gameplay. These decisions connect old players with the nostalgia of playing the original version as children even though the adventure is in fact, entirely new. This is also a definite contributing factor as to why this side-scroller has a respectable metascore of 86. I am having a lot of fun traversing this tricky little game full of puzzles & often times, death being narrowly avoided by a well-timed grappling hook. Rearmed is not to be mistaken with the other updated 3-D version which was also released by Capcom one year after Rearmed. That 2009 version shares an identical title with the original, simply called "Bionic Commando" but it only resembles the original in terms of concept. That version is an entirely updated 3-D game & is not similar at all in regards to gameplay when compared to the original arcade, the NES version or "Rearmed" which does in fact retain a lot of the old school controls & gameplay.  One year after Rearmed was released, the 3-D version was released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 & Microsoft Windows but for the most part received mediocre reviews. The more I play Rearmed the more I can actually see myself purchasing the new 3-D adventure as well despite the low scores.  Even though the 3-D version has a metascore sitting at 69 I think I will just wait until the title goes on sale, at which point swinging around in 3-D will be worth every penny.

I think one of the reasons this game has a cult status with 80's kids is that not only was the gameplay addictive in the 1988 release but the storyline was actually entertaining & in fact quite controversial. The Japanese Famicon version had the enemy bearing the Nazi Swastika, which was later changed for the North American NES release to the new, friendlier Avian symbol.  The fact remains though, you are indeed fighting the Nazi regime! Coincidentally the Japanese were allied with the Germans alongside the Italians in World War II. It didn't hurt that this game was also released at what some would call the peak of Arnold Schwarzeneggers' career. In fact, his hit movie "Commando" was released two years prior to the original game & "The Terminator" was actually released in 1984, three years prior to the video game. If you were to combine the Terminator with Commando what would you get? Bionic Commando, why of course!!  The game had some major changes when it was localized to North America from the original version released in Japan. However, the characters remained the same for the most part with the occasional logo switch & name change.

The following two quotes from Wikipedia nicely outlines the general controversy over Bionic Commando's backstory:

"One of the most prominent differences involves the ultimate antagonist of the game, who is meant to be a revived Adolf Hitler in the Japanese version (hence the title). For the English version, the character was renamed "Master-D", but his likeness to Hitler was unchanged. There is a notably gory ending sequence in which Hitler's face explodes, which was kept intact in the English version."

"The new version - Bionic Commando Rearmed borrows its plot largely from the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game. In keeping with the North American release of that version, the references to the Nazi party found in the original Japanese title are not featured in Rearmed. However, as is the case in the original, the final boss of the game still clearly resembles Adolf Hitler, and is referred to as "The Leader".

As for the actual concept of swinging off of rafters with your arm, if you watch this old trailer for the movie Commando you will even see one stunt at 01:35 seconds where Arnold travels from a mall balcony on to the top of an elevator utilizing something that looks similar to the grappling hook from the Bionic Commando game. So it is easy to see where some of the modern influence was coming from without question. Regardless, as a massive fan of these action movies being released at the time (Predator, The Running Man, Conan the Barbarian, Total Recall) I naturally gravitated towards this video game as a young child & it didn't disappoint. Thankfully, neither does the remake!

I would definitely recommend this game to anyone but I would specifically aim my recommendation towards an older player that has experienced the first release back in the NES days. Though the game is probably quite nice as a first experience to a new player I think that connecting to the game through childhood has given this title a niche in my heart. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug!  As well as a constant challenge this game also carries an odd sense of humor that keeps you guessing at each turn. The dialect alone is so outlandish that you burst out in laughter on occasion. Check out this recent screenshot - "What?! A dwarf straddling a huge metal...thing!"

Keep your eyes peeled for this title during Steam holidays sales. I was able to snatch it at a discounted price and I have noticed that select titles seem to repeat sales on Steam. Perhaps this title will go down again in the near future, so when it does make sure that you have your grappling hook ready to snatch this title and swing into some old school action. (Oh yes I did!)