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JunglemanchiId Blog

Random Update

Not had a blog in a while so here we go...

I have finished my first PS3 game. I did buy some other games first but decided to buy a BRAND new one and see how it went. My choice was Castlevania : Lords of Shadow which I bought to burn some of my spare time until New Vegas came out. I completed it and have posted a review here. Have been unhappy with some of my other reviews, which I felt were a bit rushed so I spent a good deal of time writing this one and I am happy with it.

Overall I really enjoyed the game, which is just my type of game...so go out and get it if you have been thinking about it!

In other news, a game I have been waiting for a while to get is about to be released. New Vegas, ever heard of it? :P. The lucky North American continent is getting it first but hopefully my local dealer (sounds like drugs or something), keeps his word and lets me know when it comes in. So hopefully I can have it a day or two early :D. I hope all the lucky people who get it at midnight and beyond really enjoy it!

Bad news on the New Vegas front, the first DLC, released around Jesus Day, will be Xbox exclusive. Basically meaning PS3 owners will have to wait a while because its obviously going to be a timed exclusive like with Fallout 3. Options? Play the game, forget about the DLC, when a GOTY edition is announced, sell the game and buy the GOTY. Or just bide your time and wait for the DLC!

I have also started Assassins Creed II again for the PS3, got 1000g on it for the Xbox...showing I enjoyed it a bit. Picked it up for a few £s last week pre owned, so I have been enjoying running through this great game again.

Anyway, another series of blogs will be starting soon, wouldnt mind hearing some ideas!

New PS3

The Xbox is gone. I will miss the console but I am happy with my new PS3. I have Unchartered 2, Killzone 2 and I bought Silent Hill (have no idea why I didnt buy it on the Xbox :P). Got a great deal at the shop with some expert haggling.

Got some high def films to watch, games and already planning on raiding the store for some cla55ic PS games. I am sad enough to probably buy the Monkey Island Special Edition games again, since I love them so much :P.

I have all my xbox data saved as well as my gamertag, so I will still go on it if I am at a friends house or wherever.

For now you can catch me on the PS3 with the name Junglemanchild. Feel free to add me as long as your message says who you are :)

Monkey Island Union


I have just recently taken over this Union. It is one of the oldest on Gamespot and has been inactive for a while. It is the only real place on Gamespot to discuss the Monkey Island series. I am hoping to get this Union active again and hope that fans of the adventure series will join!!!


Here is a link

Already changed some things to make it look better. The front page was done by myself, with some much appreciated tools from Dahui58! Hopefully we will have a banner up very soon!

I know some people who followed my Top 50 games are interested in this series. Would be great if you could join. If you are thinking of trying out the series...then join too :D.

Definitely looking for some Officers I can trust too ;)

Hope to see some of you there!

Top 50 Games - 1 - ?

My idea to post my top 10 games just was not going to work, I have decided to make the list 50 games and it was still hard to leave out some of my favourite games, when I post a game I will say which system I played it on, gameplay, basic story and why it is a favourite. I also urge people to make sure they know this is a list of my favourite games, I am not making a list of the greatest games ever, so please don't ask where your favourites are enjoy.

We are finally at the end of this ridiculously long series of blogs. I firstly want to thank everyone for reading them and leaving great comments. I will definitely be starting some other series after this one. These were fun to write, even if they took forever. -> 50-11

Top 10

10 - Monkey Island 2 : LeChucks Revenge

9 - Dungeon Keeper

8 - Fallout

7 - Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic

6 - Oddworld : Abes Oddysee

5 - Star Wars : Shadows of the Empire

4 - Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver

3 - Quake III Arena

2 - Fallout 2

1 - ?

Lets continue from Fallout 2 with my favourite game of all time. A strange choice amongst the legions who would choose Metal Gear Solid, Fallout, Mass Effect, Mario, Final Fantasy and Grand Theft Auto. I have my reasons though and from the very start of this list I knew that this game would be number 1.

The Curse of Monkey Island

(PC)


Fallout 2

Description

The Curse of Monkey Island is an adventure game developed and published by LucasArts, and the third game in the Monkey Island series. It was released in 1997 and followed the successful games The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. The game is the twelfth and last LucasArts game to use the SCUMM engine, which was extensively upgraded for its last outing before being replaced by the GrimE engine for the next game in the series, Escape from Monkey Island. The Curse of Monkey Island is the first Monkey Island game to include voice acting, and has a more cartoon-ish graphic styIe than the earlier games.

Reception

The Curse of Monkey Island received almost uniformly positive reviews from the media. Computer Gaming World said that "it joins LucasArts' hallowed pantheon of comic cla55ics", and that "computer gaming rarely gets more entertaining than this". GameSpot praised the graphical styIe for making the game "as much fun to watch as it is to play". Just Adventure emphasized that the "music is the best I've ever heard in a game; [...] it never stops and it's never annoying; it's always a joy". RPGFan commented that the "additions of detailed graphics and actual spoken dialogue managed to take the already hilarious story to a whole new level". Adventure cla55ic Gaming addressed plot criticism, saying "some [...] may criticize the numerous farfetched plot twists in this game", while "some may just call it creative writing!", and Adrenaline Vault likened The Curse of Monkey Island to the adventure genre as a whole, saying: "The twin vitals of an adventure game are a good plot coupled with strong dialogue. This game has both, in spades."

Screenshots

(Click Images)

Gameplay

The Curse of Monkey Island is a point-and-click adventure game. The SCUMM engine was also used in this Monkey Island installment but it was upgraded to a "verb coin" (modelled after Full Throttle), an intuitive interface that consisted in a coin-shaped menu, with three icons: a hand, a skull and a parrot, basically representing actions related to hands, eyes and mouth, respectively. These icons implied the actions Guybrush would perform with an object. The hand icon would usually mean actions such as picking something up, operating a mechanism or hitting someone, the skull icon was most used for examining or looking at objects and the parrot icon was used to issue Guybrush commands such as talking to someone or opening a bottle with his teeth. The inventory and actions were thus visible on click, rather than on the bottom of the screen as previous point-and-click games by Lucasarts.

As the genre's name suggests, the player controlled a white 'X' cursor with the mouse, that turned red whenever landing onto an object (or person) with which Guybrush could interact. Holding left click over an object, whether in or outside the inventory, would bring up the coin menu, while right clicking it would perform the most obvious action with this particular object. Right clicking a door, for example, made Guybrush attempt to open it, while right clicking a person meant talking to him or her.

Story

SPOILERS IN HERE

After the vague and surreal ending of Monkey Island 2, Guybrush Threepwood is inexplicably found on the sea in a floating bumper car with two helium balloons. Guybrush is trying to recall in his journal how he ended up in this dire situation and his escape from the Big Whoop where he was trapped for an undisclosed period of time. He eventually approaches Plunder Island, which is governed by Elaine Marley and is currently under siege by LeChuck himself. After a lengthy exchange where LeChuck is rebuffed in his attempts to woo Elaine, both notice Guybrush, and he is quickly recaptured by LeChuck. While seeking a way out, Guybrush causes LeChuck to blast himself to smithereens, finds a diamond ring in LeChuck's treasure hold, and escapes the ship whilst sinking it. He then reunites with his love, Elaine Marley, and officially proposes to her, offering her the diamond ring he found on LeChuck's ship. Unbeknownst to him is the fact that the ring is cursed, and Elaine gets turned into a gold statue as soon as she puts it on. Guybrush must then retrieve the statue, which is stolen almost immediately, and return her to human form.

The Voodoo Lady tells Guybrush that he must travel to Blood Island to find a certain uncursed diamond ring to break the spell. In doing so, he must get a crew, a ship, the statue of Elaine, and a map as nobody knows where Blood Island is anymore. In his attempts to get a crew, Guybrush hastily informs a captain named René Rottingham about his plan to go to Blood Island, which piques his curiosity. The map also presents a problem as the only known map is tattooed to the back of Palido Domingo, who is tanning on an exclusive beach and does not cooperate in his quest. Guybrush must also find out where the statue of Elaine is hidden. After various competitions, Guybrush manages to do all of the errands, as well as gather a crew, consisting of Cutthroat Bill, Haggis McMutton, and Edward Van Helgen, to join him on a voyage to Blood Island.

While sailing to Blood Island, the crew is distracted by sightseeing whilst Captain Rottingham boards the ship and fights Guybrush in a game of insult swordfighting. Rottingham easily wins and takes the map to Blood Island. By fighting other pirates, Guybrush learns various insults and defeats Rottingham, reclaiming the map. However, a terrible storm results in Guybrush's ship crashing into Blood Island, the golden statue of Elaine being launched inland, and the crew deciding to mutiny; leaving Guybrush on his own again. On Blood Island, Guybrush meets Griswold Goodsoup and other locals, including the cannibals from Monkey Island, and even has to feign death (at least twice) in order to complete his quest. Guybrush then removes the cursed ring from Elaine's finger, gambles with smugglers to acquire an uncursed diamond, and returns Elaine to normal. The two share a moment together before LeChuck's skeletal army seizes them.

After a lengthy conversation with LeChuck, Guybrush is transformed into a child and left to roam the Big Whoop amusement park. Using a hangover cure discovered on Blood Island, he becomes an adult again and gets on the Rollercoaster of Death to confront LeChuck. In an unseen cinematic, Elaine reroutes the tracks, causing Guybrush to go through the same sections of the ride over and over, avoiding the lava. LeChuck chases Guybrush over and over, tormenting him with his fiery powers. Regardless, Guybrush manages to gather up various items to set off an avalanche, freezing and burying LeChuck under his own theme park. Some time later, Guybrush and Elaine are seen sailing off on a ship just married, as various friends he met on his adventures wave them goodbye.

My View

Right this is where I can explain why a little point and click game tops a game like Fallout 2 on my list. There are many reasons and some are not even about the game itself. Back in Halloween 1997, the US got their hands on this game. I had already loved playing the first two, they were two of the first games I had ever played. I was a bit young to anticipate a game but my Dad always bought PC mags and there was Monkey Island 3 or The Curse of Monkey Island featured on one of them. He showed me the article and for the first time ever I was looking forward to a game being released. The EU was set to get the game MONTHS after the US, Feb to be exact. So in that time I was given a demo disk from a magazine. I installed the game and it would not run.

It turns out the PC was not good enough to run it. Obviously as a 9/10 year old I didn't understand fully what MHZ, RAM or Direct X was but I knew that this PC could not run this game. Luckily for me there were already plans on getting a new PC since Windows 98 was going to be released very soon (so strange speaking about Windows 98 being released :P). So I waited and waited. Just imagine if your favourite game was due out in 3 months and it was only on the PC. Your PC is not good enough to run it and you cannot afford to upgrade until 4 months after the games release). That was the situation.

So this was back when we had a terrible internet connection and there was nothing even on the internet anyway. So I basically got on with my life, the life of a 10 year old. I was basically waiting until June 1998 when we got a new PC. The game required a 90MHZ processor (lol), 16MB of RAM and a PCI video card, capable of Direct X 5. Our new PC was going to surpass that. For 1998 it was actually an awesome PC. June arrived and there was the new PC. I had saved up my money from my birthday and was also given a little help to be able to afford this game. Finally there it was installing on the PC.

The first thing I noticed was how amazing it looked. I am being perfectly honest here and saying its one of the nicest looking games I have ever played. It makes the first two Monkey Island games look shocking. It is one of those games where everytime the screen changed, I would spend a few moments looking at the artwork and backdrops. Of course nowadays graphics are absolutely stunning but I still dont see these graphics as being dated, well compared to other games from that time anyway. Think of the Playstation and how those games look just now, then look at this game. It's much better to me and is easy on the eyes.

The music is also excellent. Michael Land always makes great soundtracks but this is above all my favourite soundtrack. I obviously like the other games in the series music, the Legacy of Kain series, Silent Hill and just about every Star Wars game. I just love listening to the music in this one and everytime I hear a track from it I remember the part of the game where it was played and that also makes me remember first playing it.

This was the first Point n Click I had played with sound. I loved the voices and it made the game even more enjoyable and funny. Humour is an important part of this series and it definitely improves when you hear the delivery from the actors. Before the Special Editions of 1 and 2 came out, everytime I went to play them, I would just imagine the voices from these games when the characters text would pop on the screen.

Now when it comes down to difficulty. I can now complete this game in a ridiculous time, around about an hour if I rush it and less than 2 if I listen to the dialogue. The thing about these puzzle games is that once you have completed them and know the puzzles, you can complete them easily everytime. Well, thats a lie, there is always one puzzle where I will forget what to do...happens to me everytime. There are two levels of difficulty. The Mega Monkey mode will change certain puzzles and make them more difficult. It's definitely recommended you do the easier one first, simply to extend your replay value. When I first played this game it did not take me an hour to complete. I was honestly stuck for weeks, into months. Not that I would anyway, but there were no walkthroughs or anything. These were the days where you would wait for a magazine to get a cheat code for unlimited health in a fighting game. I was not able to jump on google and look for help. This is what made the game simply amazing. The puzzles were intelligent and when you finally realised what you were meant to do, it was an achievement. The way a puzzle game should be. When I finally completed the game, all I wanted to do was play it again and see what I remembered.

It's a sign that the game is a favourite if you simply can't stop playing it. I should have been bored of this a long time ago and I'm not. I have seriously completed it more than I have completed any other game. Must be over a hundred times anyway. That's when a game is special. It's a game where the only fault I could find was that it had to end and thats why its the only game I have ever given a 10/10. It was the moment that Lucasarts achieved perfection in adventure gaming and sadly everything after it does not match up, not even close.

So, to understand why I have made this game my number 1. Despite my admiration for Fallout, Quake, Legacy of Kain and KOTOR, I can always find a fault in these games. I lead a Fallout Union for a reason, I love the series and think the world and the history is very interesting. I play them all the time and definitely think I know enough to lead a Union. The difference with this game is that it is not a massive game like Fallout. It doesnt have a massive history and backstory. Its just a game I can throw on and complete. It's also a game that has a special place due to the way it got me into games more than any other had previously managed to. I think everyone who has played games for years has a game they always place above the others, even if some people can't understand why. This is my one.

I am rubber, you are glue!

[video=JCc3njT85b8NvzHX]

Introduction To The Game (Not Mine)

Top 50 Games - 2 - ?

My idea to post my top 10 games just was not going to work, I have decided to make the list 50 games and it was still hard to leave out some of my favourite games, when I post a game I will say which system I played it on, gameplay, basic story and why it is a favourite. I also urge people to make sure they know this is a list of my favourite games, I am not making a list of the greatest games ever, so please don't ask where your favourites are enjoy.

We are finally into the top 10 games, you can find links to the rest of the games on the list here -> 50-11

Lets continue from Quake III Arena with my favourite RPG. A sequel in an excellent series and one of the games with the greatest amount of replay value I have ever played.

Fallout 2

(PC)


Fallout 2

Description

Fallout 2 is a computer role-playing game developed by Black Isle Studios and published by Interplay in 1998. The game's story takes place in 2241, 80 years after the events of Fallout. It tells the story of the original hero's descendant and his or her quest to save their primitive tribe from starvation by finding an ancient environmental restoration machine known as the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK). Although featuring an almost completely new game world, stories, and adventures that are several times larger than its predecessor, the game mechanics from Fallout remain mostly unchanged, with the majority of changes dedicated to fixing interface issues.

Reception

Fallout 2 received generally positive reviews from critics. Online review aggregator Metacritic gave it a score of 86 out of 100 based on fifteen reviews. Positive reviewers praised the gameplay, storyline, and worthiness as a successor to the original Fallout, while detractors criticized frequent bugs and lack of improvement over the first game. Daniel Morris of GamePro gave it five out of five stars, praising the mix of action and character interaction as well as the non-linear gameplay. Commenting on the lack of change from the original, IGN applauded the developers for "not fixing something that wasn't broken," and praised the sizable game world and the writing. Chris Harding of Adrenaline Vault, on the other hand, found it distracting that problems in the original were not addressed in the sequel.

Screenshots

(Click Images)

Gameplay


Fallout uses a character creation system called SPECIAL. SPECIAL is an acronym and initialism of Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. These are the seven basic attributes of every character in the game. They influence the abilities of the given character.

There are 18 different skills in the game. They are ranked from 0% to 300%. The starting values for those skills at Level 1 are determined by the player's 7 basic attributes, but most of those skills would fall between 0% and 50%. Every time the player gains a level, he will be awarded skill points to be used to improve his skills, equal to 5 points plus twice his intelligence. The player may choose to tag 3 of the 18 skills. A tagged skill will improve at twice the normal rate.

  • 6 combat skills: Small Guns, Big Guns, Energy Weapons, Unarmed, Melee Weapons, Throwing.
  • 8 active skills: First Aid, Doctor, Sneak, Lockpick, Steal, Traps, Science, Repair.
  • 4 passive skills: Speech, Barter, Gambling, Outdoorsman.

Books found throughout the game world can also improve some of those skills permanently, although books are scarce early in the game. However, after a skill reaches a certain level, books no longer have any impact. Some NPCs can also improve skills via training. How high a skill can be developed is affected by the character's attributes—a character with a low Intelligence will not be able to boost their Science rating as high as a character with high Intelligence, for example.

Some skills can also be improved while having certain items equipped; e.g., equipping a lock pick would improve lock picking skills. Stimulants can also temporarily boost player's skills, but often have adverse effects like addiction and withdrawal. As skills grow higher in rating, they begin to cost more skill points to increase.

At character creation, the player may choose 2 optional traits for his character. Traits are special character qualities. A trait normally contains one beneficial effect and one detrimental effect. An exception is the Bloody Mess trait, whose effects (a higher frequency of especially gory deaths for enemies) are purely cosmetic. They are listed under perks in the character sheet. Once a trait is chosen, it is impossible to change, except by using the Mutate perk that lets the player change a single trait once.

Perks in the game are special elements of the level up system. Every 3 levels (or every 4 if the player chose the Skilled trait), the player is granted a perk of his or her choosing. Perks grant special effects, most of which are not obtainable via normal level up in the game, for example:

  • Awareness: instead of a general unhurt, seriously wounded, etc. information upon examining an enemy, the exact HP and weaponry will be revealed.
  • Silent Running: the player can sneak and run at the same time.
  • Sniper: gives a% chance of (10 × luck) for scoring critical hits (10 × Luck + 15 if the More Criticals perk is present). For example, a character with a Luck of 9 has 90% chance to score critical hits. With a high-powered weapon (such as a Gauss Rifle) and this perk, a skilled player can often score multiple kills in one round.
  • Slayer: similar to Sniper, this causes every hit to become a critical hit in melee combat.

Unlike traits, perks are purely beneficial—they are usually offset only by the infrequency of acquiring them.

Fallout 2 featured a much wider array of items, weapons and armor than Fallout. Most of the items from Fallout returned, but had alternate and upgraded forms: the minigun, for example, is now joined by the Avenger and Vindicator mini-guns. Laser and plasma weaponry are now complimented with Pulse pistols and rifles which have short range and low ammo capacity, but deal massive electrical damage. Item prices were also increased at stores, making scavenging for items more important. Also it is now impossible to scavenge armor from corpses, making the total scavenging yield per kill lower. In addition to old, upgraded weapons, several new weapons were introduced for all branches of combat in an attempt to balance the combat skills, and allowing the player to be powerful with any firearm. The range of enemies was also increased to a wider diversity. The end result is a much more complex combat environment.

Skills start off at a lower rate than the first game, and the various skills are also more important. Previously, skills like Unarmed, Doctor and Traps were used sparingly, but now, all skills are useful to a degree. The maximum level of a skill was increased from 200 to 300. The Unarmed skill in particular was made much more sophisticated by adding different types of Punches and Kicks depending on the player's Attributes and skill level. Additionally, skills become more expensive to improve at higher levels. Several new perks were added while most others were retained, allowing a greater degree of customization.

Karma is accompanied by reputation, and while karma affects the player on a whole, reputation affects how the player is received in a single town. While karma is achieved by doing good things and killing monsters, reputation grows based on how the player helps the city, usually by completing sub-quests. By nature, reputation and karma tend to grow parallel to each other. As in Fallout, good/evil characters react differently to players with different karma. Also, the player can acquire certain titles (Gigolo, Made Man, Slaver) based on their actions that also affect the game and how others react to them.

Recruitable NPCs were very simplistic in the first game, and the only extent of control the player had over them was controlling what weapons they used and telling them to stay at a certain distance. In Fallout 2, team NPC control is much more sophisticated, with the NPCs being able to level up, equip armor and be issued orders before combat ranging from when to run away to when to heal themselves. The NPCs also possess distinct personalities and characteristics, similar to previous games. The recruiting process is also more complex, with NPCs refusing to join the player if he has negative karma or before a certain quest has been completed. Finally, there is a limit to the number of NPCs a player can recruit.

In the original Fallout, sub-quests in the towns and cities were usually solved within that city, with only a few sub-quests requiring the player to travel. The cities, fairly isolated except for caravans, were concerned with their own problems. In Fallout 2, however, the cities have a great deal of contact with each other, and with the sole exception of Klamath, actions in one city may affect the state of another, and sub-quests will often require the player to go back and forth from location to location to kill enemies and deliver messages and items. To assist this, the makers of Fallout 2 added a vehicle, The Chrysalis Motors Highwayman which reduces map travel time significantly. It can be upgraded several times in various missions, and it runs on the same nuclear cells as certain weapons in the game.

The game's overall theme matter is more adult, with drugs and prostitution becoming major elements of the setting and the drug, Jet, as one of the major subplots. Profanities are also encountered more often. During the course of the game, players can join the Mafia, become a porn star, and engage in adultery. Slavery also becomes an important subplot, and players can either side with the Slavers or join their opponents that try to stamp slavery out. NPCs can be bought and sold as slaves during the course of the game.

Story

SPOILERS IN HERE

At the end of original Fallout, the hero Vault Dweller was exiled by the Vault Overseer for prolonged exposure to the outside world. Unable to return home, the Vault Dweller, with a group of willing companions, traveled far north. Eventually they started their own tribal village called Arroyo in what we know as Oregon. Decades have passed since the original Fallout, and the Vault Dweller had deceased.

In the time since the Vault Dweller's exile, a new government known as the New California Republic (abbreviated NCR) has begun to unify the southern towns and is spreading to the north. A mysterious new organization known as the Enclave has emerged with the most sophisticated technology in the wastes, even surpassing the Brotherhood of Steel. A new drug, Jet, has become a cancer on many towns with a 100% addiction rate, forcing many to rely on the town of New Reno to keep them supplied.

During 2241, Arroyo suffered the worst drought on record. Faced with the difficulty, the village elders asked the direct descendant of the Vault Dweller, referred to as the Chosen One, to perform the quest of retrieving a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK) for Arroyo. The GECK is a device that can create thriving communities out of the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The player, assuming the role of the Chosen One, is given nothing more than the Vault Dweller's jumpsuit, a RobCo PIPBoy 2000 handheld device, a Vault 13 water flask, and some cash to start the mission.

The player eventually finds Vault 13 (the first place possible to obtain a GECK) devoid of the majority of its former human inhabitants. The Chosen One returns to find his village captured by "The Enclave", which is later revealed to be remnants of the United States government. The player, through a variety of means, activates an ancient oil tanker and its autopilot, thus allowing him to reach the Enclave's main base on an offshore Oil Rig.

It is revealed that the dwellers of Vault 13 were captured as well, to be used as test subjects for FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus), together with the Arroyo tribesmen. Vault 13 was supposed to be closed for 200 years as part of an Enclave experiment; this makes them perfect test subjects. The Enclave modified the Forced Evolutionary Virus into an airborne disease, designed to attack any living creatures with mutated DNA. With all genetic impurities removed, the Enclave (who remain protected from radiation) could take over.

The player frees both his village (Arroyo) and the Vault 13 dwellers from Enclave control, and destroys the Enclave's oil rig. In the ending, the inhabitants of Vault 13 and Arroyo villagers create a new prosperous community with the help of the GECK.

My View

As I said at the beginning of this page, Fallout 2 is the best RPG I have played. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours over the last 10+ years playing this game. The changes from Fallout are welcome and in my opinion it's a step up from Fallout, which is already one of the best games ever made.

Fallout 2 goes above and beyond the ideas and promises of the original. With a level of content many times that of the first game, and no "ticking clock" main quest hanging over the head of the player, I feel that Fallout 2 fleshes out the concept of a truly open-ended roleplaying experience to an extreme that the original was unable to achieve.

Fallout 2 is definitely not as ground breaking as the first. That is pretty obvious considering it takes no major leaps forward in terms of graphics or gameplay, though the first game was not broken and did not need to be fixed. This is why Fallout 2 is above Fallout in my books. The game is based on a near perfect role playing experience and has just made some improvements.

The setting, atmosphere, music and history of the world are excellent. This is Fallout and if you have played the first you are immediately at home when you play this game. There are better creatures, other enemies and equipment. Though I still prefer being a Vault Dweller in the first game, the tribe scenario is an excellent change.

Now for some comparisons with the ever popular Fallout 3. The graphics are not spectacular in this game. This doesn't bother me but obviously bothers quite a few others. What is different though is the role playing experience. This game is a much better role playing game than Fallout 3. If you have low speech and intelligence then you will know all about it when you struggle to speak to anyone. You can play a lot of the game without having to kill if you have high passive stats. Characters vary between playthroughs. You can play the game a completely different way if you want to...and I dont mean good and bad karma :p.

I was given Fallout 2 back in 1998 and it has been on every single computer I have had since then. It may seem strange to have it as my number 2 game but thats still excellent considering I have played more games than I can even care to think of. Some people will be thinking that the leader of a Fallout Union should have a Fallout game as his number 1. Not really, who is to say I can't love a game at number 2 or 3 more than someone can love their number 1 game...lol. My favourite game in the Fallout series, my favourite RPG and there are only a few games that can challenge my views on that.

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Introduction To The Game

Mass Effect 2, Insanity and the future

If you dont want to know anything from the 1st or 2nd games then I suppose you should just leave this page now :D. This is just going to be a post with no direction...

Well I just finished Mass Effect 2 on Insanity. Wow!

Before I begin let me just say that its great that Playstation users will get to play Mass Effect soon, those who havent played it because they dont have a good enough PC or a 360 have really been missing out on something special. To me Mass Effect is one of the greatest gaming experiences I have had. The universe is deep, interesting and reading about it just makes it even better. The reapers, Spectres, council, alliance, rachni wars, krogan rebellion, genophage, first contact war, collectors, protheans and everything else are just so interesting and I love finding out more about all of it as I play the games. Star Wars will always be my favourite but the Mass Effect universe is special and I hope they keep going after the 3rd game.

I went back to the first game, got to level 54 by the end. Instead of going through it all again to get to 60 for the import I decided to just use this character for my new Mass Effect 2 playthrough.

I had already beaten Mass Effect 2 on normal with a new Infiltrator build. Loved it and thought that insanity would be ridiculously hard like the first game. The cover system and general combat scenarios in the second game are far better than the first game. It's easier to have a gun fight and the team, despite making some silly mistakes now and again, are generally much easier to work with in ME2.

My character in my ME1 playthrough was an Engineer but I decided to switch him to a Sentinel for my Insanity playthrough. The tech armour saved me more times than I can count. I had the loyalty of all my squad from a previous run through, so I selected Warp Ammo as my special ability. This was vital to handle the Collectors and in particular..Harbinger (assuming direct control).

So my guy from the first game took the Paragon option. Garrus was my favourite squad member. I don't know what it is but he is one of my favourite characters from any game. I like the banter between Garrus and Shephard, plus he is good with a sniper rifle. I let the council live and recommended Anderson for the role of council member. Udina annoyed the crap out of me. I also let Kaidan die and didn't kill Wrex. I done the nasty with Liara because Ash was a racist biatch who kept bullying Liara cause she was blue, poor show.

So the Insanity show was about the begin.

I didn't have to do much planet scanning since I imported a high level ME1 character and had already completed ME2. This would also mean I would reach level 30 in this playthrough, hooray!

So what makes insanity hard? Almost all enemies have some sort of protection, they can take you down in seconds, some attacks kill you instantly, enemy helath is ridiculously strong and there are a few moments where you will want to throw the game out the window.

A lot of people seemed to have problems with the very first level. I didn't find it bad. I was dying as was to be expected but didn't run into major trouble until my first experience with the Collectors on Horizon. They always have barriers and/or armour..then health. There is of course Harbinger who appears now and again and gradually walks towards you with the menace of Arnie from Terminator. He has super attacks, a strong barrier and armour. Then the Scions appeared, there stupid attack can get you even behind cover. After getting past all them I was treated to a battle with a Praetorian. A stupid flying ball of husks that keeps recharging and killing you in one or two hits. That fight took me about 12 attempts but I got there in the end. The worst was yet to come.

The Collector Ship. You reach a part with floating platforms, little cover and no where to run. There are two Scions floating around on other platforms and there are three waves of collectors. Harbinger will take over whichever enemy has taken the most damage. I tried this part about 20 times with many combinations of squad members. I didn't even mean to go on this mission. I wasn't ready for it but spoke to the Illusive Man and was immediately set for this mission. I was getting very annoyed with this part, the part often described as the hardest part of the game on an Insanity run (no kidding). My winning combination was Thane (with Heavy Warp) and Grunt (With Fortification). I managed to do it and had little trouble with the rest of the game...until the final boss.

The final boss is basically a terminator. Not really but it looks like one, a giant one. It is infact a "human" reaper. People who have played will know what I am on about. Those who haven't probably stopped reading 4 paragraphs ago. This consists of some platforms and Collectors who keep on arriving. Harbinger of course will be there and while this is happening the big reaper will be blasting you with a ridiculously powerful weapon and trashing the place. I made the mistake of forgetting to research Cain (nuke weapon) and ended up using the Collector Beam. After about 10 attempts using the beam and failing, I decided to use my very powerful sniper and heavy pistol. The armour was finally going down and I only had to kill Harbinger twice before finally taking the thing down.

My guy finished with max paragon, blowing up the collector ship, full team remaining with loyalty, a notch on the bedpost reading Tali and a massive group of angry reapers making their way to the Milky Way.

---

I honestly think Mass Effect 2 has to be played on Insanity for the full experience. Unless you are a Vanguard you wont be rushing into fights. You have to think, use your powers and use your team wisely. Instead of selecting the same squad constantly I had to think about the enemies I was going to face. If I was facing the Geth I would take Legion(awesome character) and Tali. If I was facing Mercs I would take people who could take down shields and take some punishment. The game takes much longer and despite the couple of moments I wanted to pull my hair out, it is a much better experience. It made me realise that Normal mode is just that...normal. The story, dialogue and all that is obviously just the same. The fighting and tactics are very different. If you haven't done it then go and do it...right now!

---

Mass Effect 3

Seeing the ending for ME2 again just immediately made me think of all the possibilities for the 3rd game. I have two characters waiting to import when I have the 3rd game (probably in about 3 years :P). I reprogrammed the Geth, saved the Rachni queen from the first game, saved Wrex meaning the clans seem to be uniting and a host of other decisions that will change what happens in the third game. My other character is pretty much the opposite, taking the renegade path, will be fun to see the differences. It's ridiculous that I can't wait for the third game when dlc for the second game is still being released lol.

On a side note I noticed that in my Captains quarters there was a picture of Liara then when I started trying to get the mask of Tali the picture was face down...lol. Expect a Jerry Springer moment in the third game.

So for the third game have a read at

THIS

I was thinking about a lot of the same ideas before I read that. Something that many others have been too. It does seem that the third game will involve getting the races working together to defeat the massive fleet of Reapers on their way. Choices involving Geth, Quarian, Rachni, Krogan and everyone else will come into play. The mystery behind the reapers will be solved, the genophage problem will be concluded, the geth and quarians might make up and there will be an almighty battle that will require about 4 discs to run.

Can't wait!

Top 50 Games - 3 - ?

My idea to post my top 10 games just was not going to work, I have decided to make the list 50 games and it was still hard to leave out some of my favourite games, when I post a game I will say which system I played it on, gameplay, basic story and why it is a favourite. I also urge people to make sure they know this is a list of my favourite games, I am not making a list of the greatest games ever, so please don't ask where your favourites are enjoy.

We are finally into the top 10 games, you can find links to the rest of the games on the list here -> 50-11

Lets continue from Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver with an excellent game from the very late 90's. One of the best stories and settings in any game I have played.

Quake III Arena

(PC)


KOTOR

Description

Quake III Arena (also known as Quake 3; abbreviated as Q3A or Q3), is a multiplayer first-person shooter computer and video game released on December 2, 1999. The game was developed by id Software and featured music composed by Sonic Mayhem and Front Line Assembly. Quake III Arena is the third in the series and differs from previous games by excluding a traditional single-player element and focusing on multi-player action. The single-player is instead played against computer controlled bots in a similar styIe to Unreal Tournament.

Notable features of Quake 3 include the minimalist design, lacking rarely used items and features, the extensive customizability of player settings such as field of view, texture detail and enemy model, and advanced movement features such as strafe and rocket-jumping.

Quake 3 has also been used extensively in professional electronic sports tournaments such as Quakecon, Cyberathlete Professional League and the Electronic Sports World Cup.

Reception

Reviews for the game were consistently very positive with many describing the game as fast and addictive. Curved surfaces were a welcome addition to the series. Most reviewers felt the game was best when played with others online. A Gamespot review by Jeff Gerstmann described the game as outstanding. He noted the fun level designs, great-looking textures, impressive special effects and weapons sounds. The Gamespot review critised the narrator's voice and thought that some levels could become too crowded when playing multiplayer. An IGN review felt the game lacked originality but enjoyed the detailed wall textures and outer space jump levels. The high number of character skins and the artificial intelligence of opponent bots were praised but the weapons were said to be "bland and predictable". A Eurogamer review described the game as "polished" and "stunning" and thought that it "was extremely well balanced and plays very well". The reviewer was especially pleased with the customisable 3D engine and looked forward to new maps and mods.

Screenshots

(Click Images)


Gameplay


Quake III Arena was specifically designed for multiplayer, the game allows players whose computers are connected by a network or to the internet, to play against each other in real time. It employs a client–server model, requiring all players' clients to connect to a server. Q3A's focus on multiplayer gameplay spawned a lively community, similar to Quakeworld, that is active to this day.

Q3A comes with several gameplay modes:

  • Free for All (FFA) – cIassic deathmatch, where each player competes against the rest for the highest score.
  • Team Deathmatch (TDM) – Team deathmatch, usually two teams of four compete for the highest team frag total.
  • Tournament (1v1) – A deathmatch between two players, usually ending after a set time.
  • Capture the Flag (CTF) – Team-based, played on symmetrical maps where teams have to recover the enemy flag from the opponents' base while retaining their own.

Like its predecessors, Quake and Quake II, Quake III Arena can be heavily modified, allowing the engine to be used for many different games. Mods range from small gameplay adjustments like Rocket Arena 3 and Orange Smoothie Productions to total conversions such as Smokin' Guns and DeFRaG. The source code's release has allowed total conversion mods such as Tremulous, World of Padman, OpenArena and Urban Terror to evolve into standalone free games. Other mods like Weapons Factory Arena have moved to more modern commercial engines. Challenge ProMode Arena became the primary competitive mod for Quake III since the Cyberathlete Professional League announced CPMA as its basis for competition. CPMA includes alternative gameplays, including air-control, rebalanced weapons, instant weapon switching and additional jumping techniques.

In Quake III Arena the player progresses through tiers of maps, combating different bot characters that increase in difficulty, from Crash (at Tier 0) to Xaero (at Tier 7). As well as tougher opponents the fights take place in more complex arenas as the game progresses. While deathmatch maps are designed for up to 16 players, tournament maps are designed for duels between 2 players and in the single-player game could be considered as 'boss battles'.

The weapons are balanced by role, with each weapon having advantages in certain situations such as at long-range or fired around a corner; the BFG is an exception to this as a super-weapon. Weapons appear as level items, spawning at regular intervals in set locations on the map. If a player dies all their weapons are lost and they receive the spawn weapons for the current map, usually the gauntlet and machine gun. Players also drop the weapon they were using when killed, which other players can then pick up.

Story

The game's story is brief - 'the greatest warriors of all time fight for the amusement of a race called the Vadrigar in the Arena Eternal.' The introduction video shows the abduction of such a warrior, Sarge, while making a last stand. Continuity with prior games in the Quake series and even Doom is maintained by the inclusion of player models related to those earlier games as well as biographical information included on characters in the manual, a familiar mixture of gothic and technological map architecture and specific equipment; for example, the Quad Damage power-up, the infamous rocket launcher and the BFG super-weapon.

My View

A sci-fi styIe shooter in space with large scale multiplayer combat, futuristic weapons and more mods and servers than you can count. I am not talking about Halo, I am talking about Quake III, a game released in 1999. I am a big fan of Quake and Quake II. Quake III at first was a bit strange considering that the internet still wasn't that popular. There were definitely players, though not as many as in 2003, 2004 when I was enjoying my best time with this game online.

It is the greatest online fps experience I have had. Over a decade later I am still enjoying playing this game online, though like I said earlier, my favourite time was in the early 2000s where the servers were full, there were more mods and there were few games that could rival the experience.

The single player is poor, I don't care. It's more of a long tutorial on how to play online when you think about it. It's the only game where I decided to form a clan and had moderate success with a team of about 30 players playing over many servers. I have won a few tournaments, some prizes and even had our own website ...geek alert.

When the console generation of FPS came along, it really divided gamers. Many switched over and decided to play up to date console shooters. Others remained with the PC but it is fair to say that Quake has lost it's way since this game. Quake IV is such as poor game, Quake Wars is even worse. For the ultimate Quake online experience, it's quite shocking to think that a game released before the year 2000 is still your best bet.

The graphics were awesome for it's time. I don't really care about graphics but it's quite refreshing to play a game over 10 years old and still think it looks pretty decent. Mods are always being released and there are always players. With the latest "Quake Live" boom, this means that new people are introduced to this game as you can play it through your browser which is an excellent idea.

So this is my favourite online multiplayer shooter ever, this is the top online game on my list and it's fully deserved considering I have probably clocked 1000s of hours on this over the years. Some of the greatest fun I have had with any game I have ever played. I am not really stuck in the past, I just accept that games like this were doing all the things that some modern shooters are doing now. This is one of those games that developed a genre and helped todays popular games get into development, that has to do with the engine, gameplay, online capabilities, mods, weapons and map creation. Simply a stunning game, one of the greatest ever and number 3 on my list

[video=cX06wTCs5bgLszTd]

Introduction To The Game

Top 50 Games - 4 - ?

My idea to post my top 10 games just was not going to work, I have decided to make the list 50 games and it was still hard to leave out some of my favourite games, when I post a game I will say which system I played it on, gameplay, basic story and why it is a favourite. I also urge people to make sure they know this is a list of my favourite games, I am not making a list of the greatest games ever, so please don't ask where your favourites are enjoy.

We are finally into the top 10 games, you can find links to the rest of the games on the list here -> 50-11

Lets continue from Star Wars : Shadows of the Empire with an excellent game from the very late 90's. One of the best stories and settings in any game I have played.

Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver

(PC, PS)


KOTOR

Description

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It was released for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows in 1999 and for the Dreamcast in 2000. As the second game in the Legacy of Kain series, Soul Reaver is the sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Soul Reaver was followed by three games, one of which, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, is a direct sequel.

Taking place 1500 years after the events of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver chronicles the journey of the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel, lieutenant to the vampire lord Kain. Raziel is killed by Kain, but is revived by The Elder God to become his "soul reaver" and to exact revenge. Raziel shares this title with Kain's sword, Soul Reaver, which he acquires during the game.

Soul Reaver takes place within the fictional world of Nosgoth, where the health of the land is tied to the nine Pillars of Nosgoth, and each pillar in turn is represented by a guardian. Before the events of Soul Reaver, the guardians became corrupted, and, after Kain killed eight of them, he discovered he was the final one. Refusing to sacrifice himself to restore the Pillars, he doomed Nosgoth to eternal decay and proceeded to raise his vampire lieutenants, including Raziel, to besiege the land. By the time of Soul Reaver's introduction, the humans have been decimated, and the vampire tribes have each claimed a region of Nosgoth and turned their attention to internal matters. Unknown to the vampires, beneath Nosgoth lurks The Elder God, an ancient and powerful entity. The Elder God controls the Wheel of Fate, a cycle of reincarnation of souls that circle the Wheel in a loop of predestination. However, because vampires are immortal, their souls do not spin with the Wheel, causing the land to decay as the Wheel stalls. By the time that Raziel is revived 1000years after the game's opening cinematic, Nosgoth is on the brink of complete ecological collapse

Reception

Soul Reaver's dark and gothic atmosphere was generally well-received, and several publications praised the game's cut scenes. IGN's reviewer called it "such an ambitious game - and one that achieves nearly everything it sets out to do - that few games come close to it", and praised the soundtrack for blending with the atmosphere unobtrusively. The Dreamcast port was cited as "perhaps one of the best looking console games ever made". Next Generation Magazine echoed this, stating that, "even if you own the PlayStation version, you may want to rent this anyway", but expressed disappointment that no new features were added to the Dreamcast port. AllGame's reviewer called the cut scenes "seamless", and their frequency neither too high nor too low. The game's storyline was praised by Game Informer as being "grim and interesting". Soul Reaver's voice acting was also highly praised; GameSpot ranked this aspect of the game in its list of top ten "Best Voice Acting in Games". GameSpot also considered the atmosphere as rich as that of Blood Omen, yet less dramatically overstated, and considered the graphics "among the best that have ever been on the PlayStation." GamePro praised the aspect of shifting between realms, particularly the visual effects involved.

Strangely, the negative reviews often said the games story was too complex and the game was not linear. This is ironic considering nowadays these aspects of a game are often praised. This leads me to the conclusion that in more ways than one, LOK was ahead of it's time.

Screenshots

(Click Images)


Gameplay


In Soul Reaver, an action-adventure game, players control Raziel, a disfigured and ghostly vampire. The game is normally shown from a third-person perspective behind Raziel, but players can rotate the viewpoint around him by using the control pad. Gameplay relies largely on shifting between the material and spectral planes of existence to progress through areas. Although interaction with objects is limited in the spectral realm, this can be advantageous because Raziel can easily traverse water and phase through otherwise impassable gates there. However, blocks, doors, and switches can be manipulated only in the physical realm. Many puzzles are based on the differences between the two realms; for example, platforms and environment features in one realm may change form to open new paths in the other. Block puzzles are also common and require the rotation, flipping, and moving of large blocks to progress, often with a time limit and while avoiding enemies.

Combat in Soul Reaver is a hack and slash system, involving the use of combinations of various different attacks before a finishing move. Raziel's enemies are grouped into humans, spectral creatures, and most commonly, vampires. Human enemies include peasants, vampire hunters and vampire worshippers. In the spectral realm, players fight minor enemies called Sluagh and the souls of dead vampires who have become wraiths. Each brood of vampire enemies has unique powers reminiscent of their clan leader. Human and spectral enemies can be killed with Raziel's claws or any weapon, but vampires must be bludgeoned into a stunned state and then destroyed by impaling them, lighting them on fire, or tossing them into a hazard such as sunlight or water. When killed, enemies leave behind souls that replenish Raziel's health, which automatically decreases in the material realm and increases in the spectral. Possession of the Soul Reaver sword stops automatic degeneration of health in the physical realm, but Raziel loses the sword instantly if he sustains damage and can regain it only by restoring his health to full.

At first, Raziel can jump, glide using his torn wings, move blocks, and pick up and throw enemies. Initially unarmed, he fights using his claws, but can alternatively use weapons such as rocks, torches, spears and staffs, and the Soul Reaver. Raziel can freely shift to the spectral realm, but can return to the material realm only through special portals when at full health. Raziel automatically shifts to the spectral realm if he runs out of health. As the game progresses, Raziel becomes able to phase through gates in the spectral realm and climb walls in the material realm. Initially vulnerable to water, he overcomes this weakness and learns to swim. Players can find an ancient relic that gives Raziel the power to fire bolts of telekinetic energy, which cause little damage by themselves but can knock enemies into hazards and push objects from a distance. Baptism in holy flame can transform the Soul Reaver into the Fire Reaver, which can set enemies aflame and adds fire to Raziel's telekinetic bolts. Players can also find magical glyphs that allow Raziel to expend magical energy to attack groups of enemies simultaneously.The protagonist of Soul Reaver is the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel, whom Kain casts to death at the beginning of the game. Although Kain is the protagonist of the previous game, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, he is the primary antagonist and final boss of Soul Reaver. The Elder God resurrects and assists Raziel, explains the game's controls, and describes previous events in the story. Ariel, who preceded Kain as the guardian of the Pillar of Balance, appears as a spirit and offers Raziel advice on occasion. During his quest, Raziel meets his brothers—Melchiah, Zephon, Rahab and Dumah—who serve as the game's bosses. Each has developed different powers that Raziel partially gains by killing them and devouring their souls. A fifth brother, Turel, was omitted due to time constraints on development.

At first, Raziel can jump, glide using his torn wings, move blocks, and pick up and throw enemies. Initially unarmed, he fights using his claws, but can alternatively use weapons such as rocks, torches, spears and staffs, and the Soul Reaver. Raziel can freely shift to the spectral realm, but can return to the material realm only through special portals when at full health. Raziel automatically shifts to the spectral realm if he runs out of health. As the game progresses, Raziel becomes able to phase through gates in the spectral realm and climb walls in the material realm. Initially vulnerable to water, he overcomes this weakness and learns to swim. Players can find an ancient relic that gives Raziel the power to fire bolts of telekinetic energy, which cause little damage by themselves but can knock enemies into hazards and push objects from a distance. Baptism in holy flame can transform the Soul Reaver into the Fire Reaver, which can set enemies aflame and adds fire to Raziel's telekinetic bolts. Players can also find magical glyphs that allow Raziel to expend magical energy to attack groups of enemies simultaneously.The protagonist of Soul Reaver is the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel, whom Kain casts to death at the beginning of the game. Although Kain is the protagonist of the previous game, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, he is the primary antagonist and final boss of Soul Reaver. The Elder God resurrects and assists Raziel, explains the game's controls, and describes previous events in the story. Ariel, who preceded Kain as the guardian of the Pillar of Balance, appears as a spirit and offers Raziel advice on occasion. During his quest, Raziel meets his brothers—Melchiah, Zephon, Rahab and Dumah—who serve as the game's bosses. Each has developed different powers that Raziel partially gains by killing them and devouring their souls. A fifth brother, Turel, was omitted due to time constraints on development.

Story

[spoiler] As the game begins, Raziel approaches Kain's throne and extends newly grown wings. To punish Raziel for surpassing him in evolution, Kain tears the bones from Raziel's wings and has him tossed in the Lake of the Dead to burn forever. However, Raziel is resurrected as a wraith by The Elder God to become his "soul reaver" and kill Kain, thus restoring Nosgoth. With The Elder God's guidance, Raziel adapts to his new existence and returns to Nosgoth. Infiltrating a Necropolis inhabited by the Melchiahim vampires, Raziel finds his brother Melchiah, who has devolved into a beast unable to sustain his own flesh. After Raziel kills Melchiah and absorbs his soul, he confronts Kain among the ruined Pillars of Nosgoth in the Sanctuary of the Clans. Amazingly enough, Kain is not surprised to see Raziel, apparently having even been expecting him. After a short battle, Kain attempts to kill Raziel with the Soul Reaver, a powerful sword that absorbs its victims' souls. However, the Reaver shatters when it strikes Raziel, and Kain escapes, strangely satisfied. Raziel enters the spectral realm to find the blade's soul-devouring spectral form, which binds itself to him. After this, Raziel meets Ariel, who restores his strength, and learns of Zephon's location from The Elder God.

Raziel ventures into a large cathedral once inhabited by the humans and finds the Zephonim clan. After ascending into the cathedral's spires, he finds that Zephon is now a large arachnid whose body has merged into the cathedral spire in which he dwells. Raziel kills Zephon and uses the gained power to infiltrate an ancient crypt. There, Raziel discovers coffins for members of the Sarafan, an fanatical order of vampire hunters killed centuries before Kain's rule. To Raziel's horror, he finds the crypt was designated for him and his brothers; as cruel irony, Kain revived the Sarafan to serve him as his vampire sons. Raziel ventures through a secret passage underneath the crypt and finds a flooded abbey inhabited by the Rahabim clan, whose members have mutated into amphibians; its leader, Rahab, has become a merman. Raziel tells Rahab what he has learned about their human pasts, but Rahab is unmoved, claiming that Kain "saved" them, and attacks . Raziel defeats Rahab and absorbs his soul, then crosses the Lake of the Dead to the abandoned fortress of his brother Dumah. The Elder God explains that the Dumahim vampires were scattered following an invasion of human hunters. Raziel eventually finds Dumah shackled to his throne with his heart pierced. Raziel revives Dumah and leads him into a giant furnace, burning him alive and absorbing his soul.

Afterward, Raziel discovers the Oracle Caves, where Moebius the Timestreamer once hid the Chronoplast, a magical time machine. Raziel traverses the caves and finds Kain in the Chronoplast's control room. Raziel is angered over what he has learned, and Kain says his actions are justified due to his being subject to destiny. Raziel attacks Kain while the latter continues to adjust the Chronoplast's controls. Although Raziel eventually gains an advantage, the Chronoplast activates, and Kain escapes through a time portal, beckoning Raziel to follow. Raziel complies, ignoring warnings from The Elder God. As the game ends, Raziel emerges from the timeslip and is greeted by Moebius the Timestreamer, leading into the events of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2. [/spoiler]

My View

There are few games I have played with a story as epic as this one. From the opening cinematic I was hooked. It was something different and the game itself was unlike anything I had played...even Blood Omen which is quite diffferent. The world you explore is grand, gothic and frightening. The creatures you face can be grotesque or sinister and the ability to switch between different realms is inspired.

The puzzles can sometimes be really confusing but that's a good thing. They are well placed and break up the combat, which itself is also neatly placed. This isn't a game where you are surrounded by hordes and use amazing powers to defeat them, fights can be tough and boss fights are especially tough.

I love the epic music in the game, a mix of orchestral and industrial(which I usually hate). The music helps the game develop it's amazing atmosphere which draws you in and keeps you gripped with the brilliant story.

So I have nothing bad to say about this game, I love everything about it and only wish later games in the series were AS good or even better. The setting, story, characters, puzzles, music and everything else you can think of are stunning in this game, bring on a new one! Anyone else with a chance of playing this...do it!

[video=JyM7lTqv5b4MujHd]

Introduction To The Game

A Switching of Consoles?!

Make sure you check out my latest entry in my Top 50 Games

I have always been a PC gamer. I did enjoy my time when I was younger playing with the SNES, Mega Drive, Playstation and Playstation 2(what a console). Since my 21st birthday I have owned an Xbox 360. First I owned the arcade edition which eventually got an E74 Error (surprise surprise). I fixed it, gave it away and then bought an Elite...biggest mistake ever.

Elite?! My behind!

It sits in the corner of the room taunting me. I have no idea why I bought it. I no longer enjoy playing it considering I can get the games for my PC for cheaper AND they will play better. The thing is so loud I can hear it over a game I am playing or a movie I am watching. What else is annoying me about the 360?

  1. Paying for online play. I have a fast internet connection and like I said earlier, I can play the games on my computer. Paying this £35 a year is a complete waste of money considering I have very few multiplayer games for my 360 and there are too many 10 year olds.
  2. Did I mention it's loud?! Even this new fancy Jasper model is loud. It uses less power and the drive is still the same heap that it's always been. I need to turn the TV up to unnatural volumes to drown out the noise.
  3. I had to pay for a wireless adaptor as my router is in a different room. That was £60 wasted. I get kicked off live all the time because of this little bit of plastic.
  4. They made the Hard Drives non usb to stop people using their own. A complete joke! They then charge a fortune for small capacity Xbox Hard Drives. I have a 1.5TB on my computer and I bought a 500gb External HD for cheaper than a 120gb Xbox Hard Drive.
  5. Did I mention it's loud?!
  6. The power supply is still a brick and I have nowhere to hide it.
  7. MICROSOFT POINTS!!! You always have to buy more points than you need, then what you have left is never enough for something else. A game may cost 400 but no I need to buy 500. A game is 800 but no I need to buy 1000. A complete joke.
  8. No Blu-Ray. I have Blu-Ray on my computer and really enjoy it. My computer is in a strange position in my room meaning I can't connect it to my TV. So I really want a blu-ray player for my tv...enter the PS3.
  9. Those two guys that host all the UK videos on "Inside Xbox" really irritate me.
  10. I just know this Elite is going to fail as they always do

I...hate...you...so...much!

So whats the solution? I want to sell the Elite but I won't get a good price for it, even though it's only a couple of months old and looks brand new without a mark on it. The hunt has started for someone to trade a PS3 slim with me for my Xbox. Already contacted a few potential ads I have discovered in my area. Most of my friends play PS3 including my brother who I would love to destroy at FIFA online. If I want to play the Xbox I could just use my flatmates 360 :P. Here is hoping that within a month I will be watching a Blu Ray on my tv, listening to the film without hearing my console and then giving God of War III a try.

Tasty!

Top 50 Games - 5 - ?

My idea to post my top 10 games just was not going to work, I have decided to make the list 50 games and it was still hard to leave out some of my favourite games, when I post a game I will say which system I played it on, gameplay, basic story and why it is a favourite. I also urge people to make sure they know this is a list of my favourite games, I am not making a list of the greatest games ever, so please don't ask where your favourites are enjoy.

We are finally into the top 10 games, you can find links to the rest of the games on the list here -> 50-11

Lets continue from Oddworld : Abes Oddysee with a Star Wars favourite of mine. I love everything about it.

Star Wars : Shadows of the Empire

(PC)


KOTOR

Description

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a 1996 video game, developed by LucasArts. It was one of the first games made available for Nintendo's 64-bit system, Nintendo 64. A version for Windows 95 was released nearly a year later.

In the game, the player controls the mercenary Dash Rendar in his efforts to help Luke Skywalker and rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor's hands. It is part of the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project and takes place as a backstory between Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. It should be noted that I never owned or wanted to own a Nintendo 64. I did play a few levels of the N64 version but owned the PC version.

Reception

The reception for the game was mixed and in some cases it did not make sense with the ratings that the game received. Gamespot gave the PC version 5.8 but gave the lesser N64 version a 7.1. The PC version has better graphics, actual cutscenes instead of images with text and along with better sound and gameplay it was just a superior game. Complete Nintendo bias in my opinion considering only a fool would think that version was better than the PC one.

PC Zone UK gave the game 88/100 indicating it was the best Star Wars game ever made (at the time).

Players consider the game a cIassic and their ratings indicate that the critics were a little too harsh on the games release. Many critics thought the game required too powerful a PC for it's time meaning many could not enjoy the game the way the developers intended.

Screenshots

(Click Images)


Gameplay


Shadows of the Empire is an action game that tackles many different forms of gameplay, a point which drew some criticism during its release. During the first and final levels of the game, players have full control of the Snowspeeder and the Outrider, respectively. The Snowspeeder level featured Rendar joining the effort in saving the Hoth base from the Imperial Walkers, using Luke Skywalkers' signature tow-cable maneuver to take them down. Imperial Probe Droids provide a more static target, while the AT-ST's present a greater threat of blaster cannon fire. The Hoth Snowspeeder level is often cited as a precursor to the Rogue Squadron series of games, which eventually also moved into full three-dimentional starship movement as seen from the Outrider in the final battle in Shadows.


During some levels the Outrider is piloted by Leebo, leaving Rendar to man the ship's powerful guns. Hazards, such as asteroids, must be blasted before they damage the ship. Enemy TIE Fighters also pose a threat; if the player fails to down the fighter in time, the TIE Fighter fires upon the Outrider. Leebo offers feedback to the player about the status of the ship, and frequently offers mild advice.

Rendar must also chase down and destroy a Swoop Bike gang in Mos Eisley, on Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine. Swoop Bikes, being the stand in for Speederbikes, are dangerously fast, with the level resembling more of a racing game handle than anything else. The player can defeat members of the Swoop Bike gang by ramming into them at full speed, bumping them left or right into walls, or forcing them down Sarlacc Pit-like creatures. Beggar's Canyon's "Eye of the Needle," referenced in the novel, makes an appearance as the final obstacle for the Swoop riding Rendar before he reaches his destination.

Ground levels feature Dash Rendar on foot, with a choice of third-person or first-person view. A wide range of weapons are available, including the stun blaster, used by Stormtroopers in Episode IV. There is little to no Rebel Alliance presence, as Rendar is fighting alone against the multitude of Stormtroopers, Snowtroopers, Imperial Droids, and Bounty Hunters.


In later levels, Rendar obtains a jetpack, similar to that of Boba Fett. The jetpack allows Rendar to fly over the large canyons of Gall and to also navigate the large underwater network of the Imperial Sewers. The jetpack as a limited amount of flight time, forcing the player to land and recharge between traveling long distances. The jetpack does not lose full power, however, allowing Rendar to hover several feet off the ground to prevent death from large falls. Collecting key cards and opening locked doors is the main form of progression through each ground level, often ending in a boss battle.

Challenge points are also scattered throughout each level, seen in the form of a rotating chrome Rebel Alliance emblem. These are often put in hard to reach areas, encouraging the player to explore the vast levels.

Story

It is a time of crisis. Imperial
probes, scouring the galaxy for
the hidden Rebel base, have
discovered their outpost on the
remote ice world of Hoth.

Darth Vader, obsessed with
finding Luke Skywalker, has
sent his forces to engage
the Rebels in battle.

With the dreaded Imperial
fleet approaching, a lone
freighter has entered the Hoth
system…

You play as Dash Rendar and help Luke Skywalker rescue Leia from Prince Xizor, someone who aims to
overthrow Darth Vader.

My View

This game is the highest Star Wars game on my list. Though in many ways I find Knights of the Old Republic to be my favourite Star Wars game...if that makes sense. Shadows of the Empire was an unforgettable experience. A true Star Wars game with epic music, an amazing story, familiar setting but still original. Each level was a decent size and varied in difficulty.

Many characters from the films appear in the game but it still feels like it could be it's own movie in the Star Wars series. The story is definitely better than any of the prequel movies! The gameplay varied and you did not know what the next level would ask you to do.

This game introduced me to the novels and made me love the music used in games. The music just makes this feel like Star Wars. Even I think the game looks dated now...and thats saying something. Though the memories of playing the game for about 3 years are still there, definitely deserves its place on my list.

The PC version is far better than the N64 version. Better graphics, sound and despite requiring a hardware upgrade, it was well worth it. A forgotten gem that should always be mentioned when talking about any Star Wars game.

There is also a small cameo of the villian in Episode 1 if you know where to look :P

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Introduction To The Game