Blog Archives

Pikmin 3 – Sorta Review

How long have I waited for this? How many times have I replayed Pikmin 2? I’ve lost count. I even tried going for a “No Pikmin lost” run, but it was a bit too difficult to keep my attention. But here it is! Pikmin 3! Will it live up to its legacy, or will it be a disappointing addition to the series?

Yes, it's unclean and unprofessional, but you don't know, you guys! You don't know.

I was thinking though, which is always a dangerous business, and I think it might be worth actually explaining some stuff before getting into the review, since I don’t really expect a lot of my readers will have played a Pikmin game before. I will mark the sections with headlines so you can just skip to the review if you already know this stuff, or you don’t care.

PS! I am sorry about the black borders on the images, but it’s because of how I had to adjust the screen size in the settings menu to make it fit the TV screen properly, yet the DVR recorded the whole thing. I can’t be arsed to crop them all, though.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm – Having a Gander

Oh yeah. We’re here. I didn’t feel like doing a proper review of this thing, but considering how much time I’ve already put into it, and how much I’m still planning to, I figured saying a few words would be in order.

Oh Kerrigan, Oh Kerrigan.

There aren’t many things I can say about whether or not you should get this expansion. And it does work as an expansion. If you don’t have Wings of Liberty installed, you can’t play Heart of the Swarm, but you don’t need to have completed Wings of Liberty to start the HotS campaign.

If you like the Zerg, or you enjoy/are interested in the lore of Starcraft, you will like Heart of the Swarm. And if you’re in the Starcraft II multi-player scene, you’ve probably decided to get (or have gotten) HotS already anyway. If you still want to read my mini-review, please continue.

Warning: Some Wings of Liberty spoilers will occur.

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time: Epilogue: The Future

For chapter 8 discussing Tiberian Twilight, see here.

So now that we’re in the future space year of 2013, I thought it would be a good time to wrap up this series by taking a look at the future of Command & Conquer. It definitely had nothing to do with how I’m a master procrastinator.

I do kinda like this screen.

Tiberian Twilight was the definite deathblow to the series, but I’m sure we all know EA are not above using necromancy to keep things going. And like all undead it’s a pale imitation of its former life, that might harm you if you get too close. Let’s take a look at what remains, as a type of funeral wake, if you will.

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time Chapter 8: Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight

For chapter 7 discussing Red Alert 3, see here.

For the epilogue about the future, see here.

By Odin’s beard, how do I properly express my opinion on this game without losing all coherence? I guess I’ll start how I usually do.

We were in March of 2010 when Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight hit store shelves and digital distribution platforms. A mere year and a half after Red Alert 3, and about 3 years after Tiberium Wars. EA Los Angeles was still in charge of development, but I wonder if it wasn’t a different team from those who made the two previous games.

At least Kane still looks neat.

The reception was less than favourable. Reviewers were divided between giving it average and bad scores, the fans hated it (I’ve yet to find a single person who defends it, but maybe one will crop up) and it just seemed like every little warning sign that had appeared since EA took over finally bloomed and overwhelmed what should have been a fairly simple project.

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time Chapter 7: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

For chapter 6 discussing Tiberium Wars, see here.

For chapter 8 discussing Tiberian Twilight, see here.

In 2008, a year and a half after Tiberium Wars, Red Alert 3 hit the shelves. The reception was rather mixed, due to (among other things) a controversy over a limited-activation version of SecuROM being included with the game, some people saying the game strayed too far from the previous rule-sets, and issues with balance in the multi-player.

OMG BEARS!

While you can certainly complain about and raise concerns about several bits of the gameplay, I honestly can’t deduct any points when it comes to style. EA Los Angeles put a lot of work into the aesthetic, the units, the story, the live-action scenes and the acting/voice-acting, and it shines through clearly. They even went so far as to add “EA Los Angeles Proudly Presents” to the opening cinematic, and it’s easy to see why. Like Tiberium Wars, this game also came out on XBox 360.

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time Chapter 6: Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

For chapter 5 discussing Generals, see here.

For chapter 7 discussing Red Alert 3, see here.

In the fair year of 2007 the next game bearing the Command & Conquer title hit the store shelves. Tiberium Wars was still under the same studio as Generals, though they had now changed their name to EA Los Angeles.

I am the future.

I apologise for the lateness of this chapter, but I have been distracted by all the shiny new games, like Dishonoured, XCOM, Mark of the Ninja and several others.

Tiberium Wars returned us to the conflict between GDI and Nod, and is possibly the largest investment EA ever put into a C&C game considering the product they delivered, except perhaps for Red Alert 3. The story was greater, the actors were more known (and overall better), the units were inventive, the missions were varied and the AI was cleverer. They even released an XBox 360 version which I hear wasn’t bad.

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time Chapter 5: Command and Conquer Generals

For chapter 4 discussing Red Alert 2, see here.

For chapter 6 discussing Tiberium Wars, see here.

In the year 2003 C&C: Generals hit the store shelves, and had a pretty good reception. Critics were positive and sales were decent. By this time Electronic Arts had butchered Westwood Studios, and for this game they had handed the license over to EA Pacific (later known as EA Los Angeles and currently known as Danger Close Games), who gave us a game quite different from what we had come to expect out of the series.

They did actually put some work into the boxes, I am kinda impressed.

The game is certainly not without merit, but it also has a lot of issues. My main theory is that EA Pacific were already working on an RTS game, and EA Games thought it would be a great idea to slap the C&C name on there, do some minor tweaks and generate more sales. It’s the kind of thing EA does. The alternative is that EA told them to make a C&C game, but “make it more current, with lots of recognisable stuff, and try to make it play more like Starcraft, since that is still popular, and drop all the science fiction stuff”.

Read the rest of this entry

Command and Conquer: EA’s Clumsy Dance

So I just read this, and I can’t help but feel increasingly dismayed at the state of the Command & Conquer franchise.

Let us go through this little article, shall we?

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time Chapter 4: Command and Conquer Red Alert 2

For chapter 3 discussing Tiberian Sun, see here

For chapter 5 discussing Generals, see here

A mere year and a couple of months (October 2000) after Tiberian Sun hit the shelves Westwood Studios followed up by releasing C&C: Red Alert 2 to the masses. Electronic Arts were still thankfully doing a largely hands-off approach to Westwood, and the game was a massive hit. The inevitable expansion pack, Yuri’s Revenge, was definitely the most popular of those for any game in the series, so much so that even I played both it and the multi-player for it.

Mister Awesomepatch is his name.

Red Alert 2 is based on an alternative version of what happens after the Allies win in Red Alert and basically starts its own continuity at this point. None of the actors from the first game return, and even Tanya (though considering she hasn’t aged, and now has joined the army you could argue it’s a different Tanya) and Einstein, the only recurring characters, have new actors: Kari Wuhrer and Larry Gelman respectively. The game opens with an amazing intro that I highly suggest you go take a look at.

Read the rest of this entry

Of Tiberium And Time Chapter 3: Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun

For chapter 2 discussing Red Alert, see here. 

For chapter 4 discussing Red Alert 2, see here.

In August of 1999 Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun launched. It had now been four years since the first game, and three years since Red Alert. Electronic Arts were now officially the publisher for the series, and Westwood Studios were riding high. The game and its expansion were licensed as freeware in 2010.

I sense a theme going with these covers.

Tiberian Sun was a direct sequel to Tiberian Dawn based on the GDI ending. It was highly anticipated and well-received by both critics and fans, and it’s not hard to see why. Westwood clearly put a lot of work and effort into this game, which is reflected in the many small details you find, like how every civilian building has its own name, some rather amusing, like the Westwood Stock Exchange and the Port-A-Shack Deluxe.

Read the rest of this entry