Archive for the PC Gaming Category

Looking Back at 2010

Posted in Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, Mobile Games, My Stuff, PC Gaming, PS3, Xbox360 on January 1, 2011 by thelonegamer

2010, I hardly knew you. It was a good year in gaming, for me particularly on portable gaming, but it was still a year with awesome, big-name titles.

Perhaps the biggest title for me in 2010 was, well, Starcraft 2. Blizzard finally delivered on their epic RTS sequel, and I just ate it up. The graphics were amazing, the gameplay engaging and addictive, and the story, well, the story kept me going all the way to the end and left me (and of course countless other fans) wanting MORE. It’s going to be a while till we see Kerrigan return in Heart of the Swarm, but for now we can always keep flying the Wings of Liberty.

This trailer for DC Online is better than most full superhero movies.

Red Dead Redemption has swept the world in a storm of bullets and revenge, and I have to admit i came in late to the party. Still, I totally agree with this western epic’s merits, from the story to the production values and the gameplay- this is as good as a game can get. The last minute addition of Undead Nightmare makes this gem all the more bloody brilliant. If you still don’t have RDR, make it part of your game library if you’re truly a hardcore gamer, casual or not. Heh…

My favorite game trailer of 2010.

In fighting games, my favorite genre, I have to say in particular I had great fun, although most of it came not from actual games but from the hoopla around them.
Super Streetfighter IV took over the spotlight from Tekken 6 once it released in April. Capcom and Namco-Bandai however would share the fighting game arena- not as competitors (well, not totally), surprisingly- but as collaborators.

The Fighting Festival Begins.

Producers Katsuhiro Harada (Tekken) and Yoshinori Ono (Streetfighter) revealed what they termed the Fighting Game Festival, a series of releases that they hope will revitalize the beat ’em up genre: Streetfighter X Tekken, Tekken X Streetfighter and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Plus, going beyond any gaming company PR move done before, both producers now allow themselves continuous access with their fans over Twitter, giving their gaming public a way to voice opinion during the time when it can actually matter.
Of the Festival games, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is set for release in mid-2011. Streetfighter X Tekken may release within the year as well. For now though, fans look to Twitter for the next little update.

Big Things come to little iPhones.

The biggest surprise for me of all were the many, many little surprises. ‘Little’ in terms of screen size- iPad and iPhone gaming truly took off in 2010, with games coming and going seemingly every week for the iOS4 devices. From casual puzzlers to major time-eaters, fighting games to RPGS, original titles to big-name ports, Apple has set the new standard for portable gaming. I just can’t wait to see what 2011 brings to my iArcade. On my other portable gaming device, the PSP, it was really just about one game- Valkyria Chronicles 2. I await the sequel with great anticipation.

Not so much a trailer but a mini-epic.

Well, that’s that, I guess. It was great, and it still is. Many games I started playing in 2010, I’ll keep playing on and on, I’m sure. But as the Hardcore Casual Gamer that I am, I’m always looking for the next big thing. Always forward! Bring it on, 2011!


Woman Vs Wild: Tomb Raider Reboot Revealed in Game Informer

Posted in Action Adventure, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, Tomb Raider, Xbox360 on December 6, 2010 by thelonegamer

Survivor: Lara Croft Edition?

The January issue of Game Informer has landed the scoop on the next Tomb Raider, with a cover image of the all-new, rebooted but apparently pretty worse for wear (and slightly plain-looking) Lara Croft. Along with the cover spread, the mag will have 10 pages devoted to the upcoming game, so anyone interested in the latest info on TR, grab the issue if you can. The game’s described as a ‘journey like no other’ and tells gamers to ‘forget all you knew about Tomb Raider’… which is a freakin’ BUMMER since I actually really, really liked the last three (TR Legend, Anniversary and Underworld) games, which were, as I remember, already a reboot of the previous incarnation of the franchise already. Well, at least that Lara had her run for a good while… sigh.

Anyway, this new Tomb Raider will star a young and fresh Lara- supposedly without any of the usual trappings (her trademark dual pistols? Big boobs? Eh?) and will have the fledgeling heroine trying to survive both physical hardship and ‘mental trauma’ after she’s shipwrecked.
So what does this mean? Lara Snake Eater? Lara ala Bear Grylles? Will we have sessions where we have to keep Lara from shutting down and going into a fetal position from mental stress? Of course, there will be enemies as revealed in the more early snippets of this game, as the island Lara gets marooned on will not be totally deserted.

Even if I am really peeved at the previous Lara being put on the backburner, at least the new game’s still being developed by Crystal Dynamics, so perhaps there will be some form of continuity with the past (future) Lara- or better yet, maybe after this ‘reboot’ we can go back to our veteran Lara, and renew her catfights with Amanda Evert and find some new adventure after the long Natla arc. I hope. Anyway, as always, I’m guaranteed to get this Tomb Raider game, though I probably won’t ever finish it either. More as I get it then.

Games 2 Comics: Left 4 Dead Sacrifice, Part 1

Posted in Fan Service, Game-related Events, Games to Comics, Gaming, PC Gaming, Shooters, Xbox360 on September 15, 2010 by thelonegamer

Lotsa blood in these here panels.

Valve has just opened up the first issue of Left 4 Dead: Sacrifice, an online comic chronicling the momentous events in the recent add-ons to their fast-paced zombie shooter franchise. Connecting the storylines between the story of the original survivors from L4D to that of the new quartet of zombie fighters in Left 4 Dead 2, ‘The Sacrifice’ is a prequel to the previous Add-on, entitled ‘The Passing’.

Confused? Well, that don’t really matter. You don’t have to have played the original L4D or the sequels to be able to like and enjoy the comic version of Sacrifice- it’s a well-written, well-drawn comic and it’s FREE. Heck, it just might get you playing the game. Anyway, there be SPOILERS in this, of course, but if you’ve played the games you know who makes the sacrifice. If you don’t, well, don’t matter. So just read the comic, why dont’cha?

Check out the first installment here. the next three chapters will be posted in the next few weeks up until October.

Batman’s Next Adventure will be Bigger, Crazier

Posted in Action Adventure, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, Xbox360 on August 11, 2010 by thelonegamer

Last year it was Batman: Arkham Asylum. Well, that seems to have been just a warm-up for the upcoming Batman: Arkham City, coming next fall for PS3, Xbox360 and PC. Set one year after the events in the first game, BAC sees the infamous prison being relocated to the slum district of Gotham. Now under the management of the dubious Professor Hugo Strange, the larger expanse allows inmates to roam about more with a measure of freedom, provided that they never leave the confines of their abode. Sounds like it’s just a bigger pot of trouble to bubble over.

According to the report at IGN, the game will be more advanced than before, and include new adversaries for the Dark Knight to take on, such as Two-Face, who will be contending with The Joker for dominance over the prison’s peons. Then there’ll be Catwoman, who will serve a bit as Batman’s love interest and occasional ally in this troubled time. New gadgets, more combat options, more puzzling Riddler puzzles and sidequests will make this all something to look forward to in the near future.

This all sounds pretty awesome. The first Batman AA was triple-A, and is easily one of the best superhero-based games out. If they ratchet it all up a notch, this could be something else. I just hope they still put in Poison Ivy. Heh…

Starcraft 2: Back Into Jimmy’s Boots (Single-Player Campaign)

Posted in Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, Starcraft 2, Strategy RTS on July 28, 2010 by thelonegamer

Last night, I Zerg Rushed home with my copy of Starcraft 2, hell-bent on freeing the Koprulu Sector from the grip of the oppressive Dominion. That is, if I could free the damn game from the grip of Blizzard’s security methods. I literally had to deal with almost an hour of loading, more loading, creating a Battle.Net account, authorizing my copy for Offline Play and then more loading. But all things considered, I was able to fire up the Hyperion on my ol’ iMac with little hiccups.

Starcraft 2 looks gorgeous- if you have a high-end computer. My iMac’s probably mid-powered, so by default the graphics were on low, making visuals in the real-time cutscenes lack detail and textures. I had to fix up the options to take a bit more risk so the visuals looked a notch better- it just wouldn’t do to see jaggy ugly PSX-era blips on my Starcraft 2 game. Still, there were noticeable chugs during heavy in-game cutscenes, but gameplay was fine and carried on smoothly for the most part, which is the most important. I soldiered into the Campaign mode and took on the first four missions.
These initial forays for Raynor’s Raiders should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s monitored this epic througout the past couple of years. You’re Jim Raynor, ex-Space Marshall after you burned bridges between yourself and the reigning Terran Tyrant, Arcturus Mengsk. Since then you’ve been drinking yourself to sleep with dreams of half-insect, half-human babes and putting a bullet into ol’ Mengsk’s head. One day, an old friend named Tychus Findley comes a-calling, giving you tips to some juicy mercenary contracts. Your little army needs the cash to keep fighting, so even if Tych is obviously slipperier than creep, you’re on his game for now.

The first mission is pretty much a cake walk to get you re-acquainted with moving your units around and seeing them gang up on enemies until they’re bits of bloody pulp. The next couple have a bit more bite, having you take on a small Dominion base and then holding out waiting for your pick-up as Zerg hordes rush in. A cool cutscene later and you find out about the big threat you’ve been feeling in your bones all this time. Later on you’re on a Zerg-infested planet trying to evacuate civilians abandoned by Mengsk to the insect hordes.

Raynor’s digs is pretty cool- your HQ is the Hyperion, the old Battle Cruiser you appropriated from Mengsk a few years back. No more basic menus or teleconferences galore here- the interface now puts you smack in the middle of a bridge, a cantina, a lab or the ship’s armory, with pertinent personnel there to strike a conversation with, or little bits to explore or play with, such as an arcade game near the bar, or a news program playing on the TV. It all makes the world so much more involved and more RPG-like, telling the ongoing story more than ever before. In short, it’s pretty awesome.

So far I think I’m doing fine. I’ve gone through most of the missions smoother than a buttered brisket, with little casualties and quite a bit of success. As a result, Jim and the Raiders are becoming Heroes of the People, with rebels joining up and development of the resources coming along swimmingly. In some cinematics and trailers I’ve seen in the past, there were moments where the crew seemed more openly hostile or frustrated with Raynor- things that may happen if you proceed badly or fail in some objectives.

It has been said in the literature and trailers that you shape the story by the choices you make, and how you play. I guess this means a sort of morality meter may be in effect. Do details like your going out of your way to save trapped rebels affect the plot, your progression and how your crew sees you? Also, there’s a push-and-pull of two opposites right in your home camp, with dedicated starship captain Matt Horner on one side, questionable merc Tychus on the other.
It would be interesting to see variables in this regard, but for now I’ll go with the flow. Things should get harder as the war gets along.

Needless to say I’m enjoying the game immensely, and this just brings me back to my old, old days of PC gaming- honestly, it was a Blizzard game, Diablo 2, that made me buy my first gaming PC. Now, I’m back onto keyboard and mouse jockeying and it’s with another sure-classic from these stone cold gaming gods. I’ll most surely be losing more sleep in the weeks ahead as I play, replay and play this awesome game more. Oh, the horror and the glory.

Starcraft 2 lands in Manila

Posted in Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, Starcraft 2, Strategy RTS on July 27, 2010 by thelonegamer

Hell… it’s about time.

It’s the 27th of July, and that means that the wait is finally over for fans of Blizzard’s mega-hit RTS, Starcraft. The long-and-much-awaited sequel, Starcraft 2, hits stores right NOW. Well, at least here in Manila. Stores like Data Blitz probably already have the game in stock at this very moment, and hardcore fans are probably already on their way or have already lapped up their copies.

I’m surely going to try and score my copy today, once I get the chance to slip out of the Salt Mines. I wasn’t too hot with the Collector’s Edition, but now I’m actually interested in it thanks to some neato goodies like the Behind-the-scenes DVD and the Raynor dogtag USB with the original Starcraft game embedded. Well, I’m sure the set is pretty pricey and might not be available off the bat, at least right away though… we’ll see. I’ll keep my eyes out for it. For now though, all I want is the game, on my iMac and playable by tonight at The Sanctum.

For everyone, happy Zerg-rushing! A new era of galactic war has begun, in all it’s glory, all it’s horror… and all it’s FUN!

Starcraft 2 Invades Stores in July!

Posted in Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, Strategy RTS on May 4, 2010 by thelonegamer

July 27, to be exact. The long, long, long, long-awaited sequel to THE best RTS ever is finally on the horizon. The first of three parts, Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty will center on the Terran front, led by longtime series’ protagonist Jim Raynor. The game will release everywhere, all over the world, from the US to Manila, simultaneously. Wow. Poor me, I’m gonna have to wait for the Mac version. Oh well. Good stuff in any case.