Friday, July 26, 2013

Best and Worst Star Wars Games of All Time

Friends know I'm a big Star Wars fan.  As such, I've played every video game that came out, until it all started to be about the Clone Wars.  And I mean every one.  Star Wars Monopoly, Star Wars Demolition, Star Wars Jedi Power Battles, Star Wars X-Wing Alliance, Star Wars Rebellion, Star Wars Force Commander, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds... there were a lot of them.  Many of them were pretty bad games, although that usually didn't stop me from loving them based on the brand alone.  Head past the jump to find the very best, and very worst, of the Star Wars games.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Analysis of the Eldar Wraithknight

The Wraithknight is a new unit to the Eldar army.  It's as big as an Apocalypse Titan.  It's 240 points, and close to $100.  It's also pretty dang ugly.  But just how does it play on the tabletop?  What role does it fill, and is it worth its massive point cost?  Let's figure it out!

DotA 2 Hero Reviews Part 3

Let's learn about some more heroes in DotA 2!

We've covered Gyrocopter, Sand King, Chaos Knight, Sven, and Rubick.  Today I'm going to talk about some Hard Carries!  Carries are, of course, those heroes that have a weak early game but a very strong late-game - the srongest out of all heroes.  They depend on getting a lot of gold and items to become that strong, though.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dota 2 Hero Reviews Part 2

I'm back with more DotA 2 hero reviews!  Let's jump right in to some more heroes, shall we

My Eldar Army Plan from the Ground Up

I'd like to explain the plan I have for my Eldar Wraith army, and how I came to it, step-by-step.  Because why not?

Dota 2 Hero Reviews Part 1

It's about time for a dedicated DotA 2 post, don't you think?

The game is officially out of beta and on Steam.  You have no excuse not to go check it out - it's totally free to play!  The only things you can buy or unlock are cosmetic and have no impact on the game.  This is how you do free-to-play, people. Pay attention.  Now, you can go read as many reviews as you like - the game currently enjoys a very high score on Metacritic in the 90s, as of this post.  But once you do try it out, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of heroes and items to learn about and try.  There's over a hundred of each!  I thought I'd go ahead and break down a few of the heroes at a time, giving my own impressions of them and how they work in the overall game.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mathhammer 40k: Which Eldar Tanks are the Best?

Which Eldar Tank truly is the best for each situation? I did the math to find out! The numbers below are averages over the long run of thousands of dice rolls. It is a study on which tank is statistically better over the long run, and which is more likely to perform better in the short run. Each tank costs very close to the same amount, especially with weapon upgrades factored in, so point-efficiency is pretty closely tied to this study. Also note that I chose what I believe to be the best, most common loadouts for Wave Serpents and Falcon. These loadouts are not the best at EVERYTHING, but they are the best at more things than any other loadouts for those vehicles. Finally, with Fire Prisms and Falcons, I did not factor in the twin-linked shuriken catapaults, because these tanks are generally long-range fire support, and will rarely if ever be within 12'' range to use those weapons on infantry. I believe this is fair.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 2013 Update

It's been a while!  Here's what I've been playing:

Dota 2

Valve's remake/sequel/whatever to the popular Warcraft 3 mod has caught me hook, line, and sinker, and shows no signs of letting go any time soon.  I have around 300 hours logged in this game and I only learn more every time I play.  With around a hundred different heroes that are all extremely unique and memorable, hundreds of items, and near infinite combinations of each to make up any individual game, I'm starting to understand just why this genre is as popular as it is!  Not to mention the incredible depth of gameplay with last hitting, denying, neutral creep manipulation, runes, trees, wards, pushing, pulling, aggro, different damage types and resistances... it's really too much!  The pro scene is hard to follow, but fun to watch, too.  And the best part?  All of this is free to play!  Nothing about the game is influenced by money except cosmetics, too.  Nothing is unlocked, there's no progressive exp system that gives you bonuses.  This is good, classic multiplayer where everybody is on equal footing from square one - something sadly rare, these days.


I haven't finished Dishonored, yet, but I really enjoy it so far.  I keep finding myself pulled away from finishing it by Dota 2.  Still, the first-person stealth gameplay works very well, the powers are fun, and the interaction with everything feels good.  Plus, the Half-Life 2-esque world is memorable and interesting.  There's really nothing wrong about the game at all, it's quite good - I just have less free time lately working full-time, and other games call at me just a little bit more most days.  One day I'll dive in and attempt to finish it all, though.

Warhammer 40k

I've been pretty obsessed with the tabletop game, videogames, books, and universe of Warhammer 40k for a while now.  It evokes how vast and colorful the expanded universe of Star Wars was for me, back in the day, but just a little more bad-ass.  There's a ton of rich backstory and different factions, lots of room for interesting stories, and a mish-mash of all the best sci-fi tropes from the last 50 years.  What's not to love?  Videogame-wise, I've been mostly playing Dawn of War 2, which is a really excellent game, although the multiplayer kicks my ass.  I also play often on Vassal40k, a free java-based computer version of the tabletop game (although it requires you to know the rules yourself, it supplies none).  I've recently gotten my first box of tabletop miniatures (Eldar!) and begun learning how to paint them.  I'm very excited at the prospect of eventually having enough money to take up this hobby.

World in Conflict

I picked this up for $2.50 on Amazon a few days ago.  It turns out patience is a good thing, because this game is impressing me greatly for a game from 2008.  It's got to be the best-looking RTS I've ever played.  The mechanics are relatively easy, compared to something like Starcraft 2, but there is still plenty of micro to be had.  The greatest thing about this game really is the atmosphere, visuals, animations, and effects that add some much needed character to the game.  It's actually very similar in gameplay to Wargame, another more recent RTS, but feels worlds better for very subtle reasons.  The constant chatter of colonels and generals over the radio give the game a frantic and demanding atmosphere.  The units all move and control very responsively, and always provide small animations when moving, turning, going over bumps, or being hit by fire, that give them a sense of life.  The physics are top-knotch, and the explosions are bright, flashy, and exciting at all times.  One of the most fun aspects of gameplay is the ability to call in off-map artillery or air-strikes, allowing you to litter the field with bursts of destruction.  The game provides some awe-inspiring displays of pyrotechnics!  The controls and scale of the battlefields are also masterfully done - buildings and cities have a ton of attention to detail, and every building can be destroyed or occupied by infantry.  I'm having a blast with this game!

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is what would happen if you mixed Grand Theft Auto with a kung fu movie.  It's brutal, story-driven, and interesting.  It also takes place in Hong Kong, a setting I haven't gotten to play around in much in games.  Driving on the other side of the street takes some practice!  The combat system works quite well, too, and is probably the highlight of the game.  All in all, a fun game that does a lot of things right.  If you don't like GTA, though, don't expect this to be a big departure.

Far Cry: Blood Dragon

I haven't played Far Cry 3.  Blood Dragon is a standalone bit of DLC that seems to be an entirely new game for a much cheaper price.  It's an homage to classic 80's scifi movies, with a lot of humor, and I have to say it's really fun.  FPSes haven't really drawn me in lately - good ones are all too rare nowadays.  The gameplay of Blood Dragon, too, feels just a little bit off, to me.  Not quite as satisfying or precise as I would like.  But it's certainly not bad, and the humor and 80's scifi references more than make up for it.  Expect to see bright neon lights everywhere, lasers, robots,'s all pretty great.


The new game by Mojang, creater of Minecraft, is in beta.  It's a really interesting mish-mash between Magic: The Gathering and tower defense/chess, I guess.  Hard to describe.  But it's a unique concept with very engaging and addicting gameplay.  I can't imagine it can top Minecraft in ubiquity, but I'm sure it will receive positive reviews and a good following.

What I'm looking forward to

Honestly?  Not a lot.  None of the new consoles particularly appeal to me - the PS4 looks fine, but not any different, really.  I've been playing PC almost exclusively for a while now.  I'll probably just continue doing that.  The only games right now I want to get in the future are The Last of Us, which looks fantastic, and Metal Gear Rising, because I can't get enough Metal Gear.  But those two games are already out!  I should also pick up Starcraft: Heart of the Swarm, but I don't know how I can fit in both Starcraft and Dota into my already meager free time.