“Don’t get out of here, Stalker.” The Bucket Edition

I’ve come out of hibernation and college finals to say not just a few words, but many. As a response to mistermcconnell’s post about the possible closing of GSC Game World, I am also posting to honor the glory of the STALKER series…

And to the hope that STALKER 2 will one day grace the earth from the depths of Chernobyl.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl

The first game is set in 2012, within “The Zone” surrounding Chernobyl. Many highly valuable artifacts are to be looted, factions to befriend or fight-off, mutated packs of dogs to be avoided, and odd-jobs to be completed. Here, you are injected into an RPG/FPS hybrid of a very cool sandbox-styled way to play.

You wake up with amnesia, after being found among dead bodies with a tattoo of “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” on your right arm. On you was found a PDA that merely says, “Kill Strelok.” So what do you do? You were found among dead bodies as the only one living, have amnesia, are among the desolate void called The Zone, and seem to have left yourself a message from the other-side: kill some dude.

That is the main plot: Find Strelok, and find out who you are. The rest of the game is made up of side-quests with missions between factions that exist in The Zone.

Factions/Groups:
Military
Stalkers
Bandits
Duty Faction
Freedom Faction

Factions: Join them, kill them, or be neutral

Duty are the a-holes that wish to bring order to The Zone, and so they treat everybody who isn’t Duty like scum. You suck, and you are not allowed here. This is ours, and we are protecting the outside world from The Zone. At the Duty base, there is also the infamous Duty member who stares at you and never stops repeating these exact words: “Get out of here, Stalker.” “Get out of here, Stalker.” “Get out of here, Stalker.”

Then there is Freedom, and they are the surfer hippies of The Zone. Peace, love, and freedom. You will almost always hear Freedom members say, “Dude.” Pretty cool cats, even if sounding retarded half of the time.

What about the mutants? Enough about the people.

The Bloodsucker

Mutated Vampire from Hell

This thing will scare the hell out of everybody the first time you see it underground, as you are fleeing military personnel.

Timeline of Blood Sucker confrontation:
“I just see floating eyeballs.” 1 second
“I see bouncing eyeballs and weird huffing.” 2 seconds
“WHAT IN THE TRIPLE FFFFFFFFFFF” 3 seconds

Later, once you know what they are, you just tell yourself “Oh God, I’m going to die” and start shooting fully-automatic silver bullets out the ass.

Now, that is just one special case. Aren’t there more? Why yes. Yes there are.

Homeless Man from The Sewers

What about ugly, homeless men? They have the power to psychically transfer their PTSD to you by merely staring at you. The screen zooms in on his horrid face and personal trauma, with the ensuing migraines damaging your health. Every time you try to do something, you can’t help but zoom in and stare at his horridly-malnourished face of pure evil. You better learn the “quicksave” key early in the game, or mutated squid-faced vampires will ruin you with the help of homeless madmen.

The game is an amazing experience, and should be played if you have never come across it. For newcomers to STALKER, and old, I wholeheartedly endorse this mod as it fixes many bugs/glitches and upgrades many aspects of the game (graphics, physics, awesomeness, etc.). That link was the direct address to the installer, while here is the summary outlining its awesome powers.

That is just the first game out of the three that have been released, and I cannot say enough about the game and it’s series. Maybe I will post again to touch on the other two games? With that said, I truly hope STALKER 2 can either be completed or picked up by a reputable gaming company for its release to the world.

–Side Note–
All pictures have been used from THQ’s website, which at the moment that I post this, just has a big image stating “Strap it On” with people falling through the air and wielding guns for Saints Row 3. This is an example of why we need more STALKER. Thank you.

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“Don’t get out of here, Stalker.” A plea from a S.T.A.L.K.E.R fan

Shit.

I just heard that GSC Game World may possibly be closing. This is a huge disappointment because the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series was incredible on almost every level.

Anyone who has played  the first game of the series should know about the “Get out of here, Stalker.” glitch that occurs in the Duty base.  Gah. I’ve got so many fond memories with this game series. I also heard they announced another sequel that they were going to completely redo and overhaul everything in the game. But the future is uncertain for the sequel now that they are closing. I just hope some shitty studio doesn’t get a hold of the rights and completely destroy the game I know and love.

I am sad.

Finally back in action.

Well.

I have finally come out of hibernation.

So here are a few announcements on upcoming reviews and more.

The Saboteur

Red Faction

Freedom Fighters

And finally…Battlefield 3.

 

Unfortunately I still have not been able to recover my copy of Fraps. So I guess for the time being I’ll have to make do with the piece of shit demo version of Fraps.

Yep. My review for Red Faction should actually be up tonight. Also, Cori and myself may actually be putting up a video of us playing Minecraft sometime very soon. Yahooooo.

Cheers.

Review of Operation Flashpoint:Dragon Rising

Well.

Playing this game in multiplayer with a couple friends over Skype or Ventrilo is actually a genuinely fun, deep, and engaging experience that requires patience, strategy, and some pretty good skill with the FPS genre.

However, playing this game by yourself will definitely cause a blood vessel in your brain to burst.

When I played the game in multiplayer mode with two other friends, it was an absolute blast. Sure there were some tedious and slightly annoying moments; but overall the sessions were pretty enjoyable. If you and your friends can work together and keep your heads on straight, then this game is definitely for you.The multiplayer is fantastic as it offers a lot of replay value and kept me and my friends coming back for more.

I mentioned earlier that there were some annoying parts. Well, one of them was that even though we were playing on the “normal” difficulty, and we would receive checkpoint saves during missions; whenever all of us were killed off the game would completely restart the mission from the beginning. This is a gigantic pain in the ass because the levels are massive, and there are tons of objectives that you typically have to walk/run to and they are usually a damn good distance apart from each other.

I’ll give an example using the shittiest drawing ever:

Okay. So we complete objective A. And then we hike our asses all the way over to B, complete it, and then hike all the way over to C. Alright. Great. So now we backtrack past B and head to D. But the shit hits the fan shortly before D and we get killed. Shortly after completing objective C the game informs us that we reached a checkpoint. But when we die before reaching D, the game does not load the checkpoint. It instead decides to take a giant shit on us and completely restart the mission from the beginning.

Yep.

The game looks pretty nice, I don’t really have any complaints about the graphics engine.Although on some levels a really thick, orange fog sets in like it’s the setting of a Romero zombie film.

If you have the patience for a couple minor bugs, and the rather high learning curve and difficulty level that this game brings; then you’ll love jumping into a game with a few friends. If you’re impatient and prefer something similar to Modern Warfare 2 or Halo, then you’re probably better off staying away from Operation Flashpoint.

Anyways, on to the singleplayer.

The AI completely takes away from the experience.

The bullshit robot responses and orders that everyone gives also takes away from the experience. “ECHO, NINER, ONE ZERO F ALPHA, MOVE TO GRID, DELTA, Z SIX FOXTROT”

And that’s how your character says almost everything. The only time any of them sounds even remotely normal is when they are being shot at and they yell and shout.

Returning to what I said earlier, in most of the missions there is a lot of ground to cover and a serious lack of vehicles. In most of my game sessions whether it was online or offline I ended up having to trek for what felt like miles and miles across the maps to finally reach my intended destination. There were times when it didn’t feel like I was playing an “intense and highly tactical FPS” but a simulation of the Native American Trail of Tears.

Most of the time I spent walking and running to the next objective, only to be instantly one-shot killed from several hundred meters away by a nearly invisible enemy. At this point the game would reload to the beginning of the mission and not the checkpoint, and I would fill my diaper with an aggravated shit.

Now that I think about it, I think this slightly less shitty drawing is more accurate:

The game also has a ton of menus, and a good number of them seem to just be there for looks. The menu I click through at the beginning of the video shows the loadout of your character, but you can’t really do anything with any of it. You can just hover your mouse over the icons and get a brief description of what a gun does, or what a first aid kit is used for. Yeah.

Anyways, the multiplayer is great. But if you’re looking for a rich and rewarding singleplayer experience you’re looking in the wrong place. Because Dragon Rising’s singleplayer is just plagued with shitty bumbling AI, and kind of a lame story that’s more of a backdrop for the action than something that should be taken seriously or even really paid attention to.

Come for the multiplayer. Don’t even try singleplayer unless you just want a laugh.

*Image courtesy of Google, video courtesy of me

Magicka PC review

Well. Before buying and playing through Magicka I played the demo over and over. The short demo just wasn’t quite enough for me. The hilarious dialogue (if you can call it that) and characters had me rolling at points. All of the characters spoke in this really shitty broken English that is mostly jumbled words that only vaguely sound like what the subtitles show they are saying. For example a word such as “remember” becomes “rembrandt” in the world of Magicka. And sometimes they don’t really say anything and they just yell.

He yells “Fire!” for those of you who are wondering.

There are dozens of pop-culture and film references in the game. I absolutely love the humor in this game. There is a part where an ally is killed by a bunch of bow and arrow wielding goblins, and he falls to his knees with his arms in the air; similar to the scene in Platoon. The game perfectly blends action and humor.

The combination of spells you can cast are endless. You use several elements to combine and cast spells, such as fire, arcane, ice and water. You can simply spray an enemy with water and knock them on their ass, or you can full-on-double-rainbow blast them with a crazed combination of spells that forms a giant beam of energy causing them to explode instantly. That’s another thing about this game…the blood and gore in it is pretty absurd and it works to the game’s benefit. Simply slashing an enemy spills out liters of blood and they usually screech or yell in pain. Shooting an enemy with a big ass boulder spell causes them to explode all over the place, and then when you proceed to walk through their guts you will kick their head/arms/legs around. Kind of like Dead Space. Only in Dead Space that shit was so bugged and stupid it completely took away from the experience.

There is actually support for 4 player co-op. Which I recommend playing the game with at least one other person. Because while playing it alone there were times where I would become overwhelmed and it would take me several attempts to pass a section. Because whether you are alone or with three other people, the enemies still come pouring down on you. This is great at points because the game can be pretty challenging, and the spells you have at your disposal allow you to deal with multiple threats at once.

Towards the end of the game, however I found that playing by myself was nearly impossible. Because the enemies still come at you in great numbers, and they become progressively more difficult to fight; even with your endgame spells.

Overall the game was a fantastic experience. The dialogue and characters kept me laughing, the spells and differing enemies kept me engaged and interested, and the story development and change of setting kept me wondering where the hell I would go next.

I highly recommend Magicka to anyone. Yeah. Anyone. Even old people that probably wouldn’t understand the type of humor found in this game, nor would they have the reflexes to fight off a dozen wolverine-werewolf-men with swords.

*images courtesy of Google, videos courtesy of me*

Evolution of the GTA series – GTA IV DLC

Right.

So in the Lost and Damned, you play as Johnny Klebitz. A kick ass mean muggin’ biker with a slightly goofy Southern accent. And he’s Jewish. A Southern Jew.

In the real world Johnny Klebitz would never be able to function as a Southern-Jew-Rebel-Biker-Rascist-Criminal-Financial Advisor.

Uh. Yep.

So. You play as Johnny and he is a high ranking member in the biker gang “the Lost MC” or just “The Lost” for short. The Lost get into all sorts of shenanigans, such as illegal motorcycle street racing, illegal beating of rival gang members and civilians that get in their way, and illegal shooting of police officers and rival gang members. Also, they smoke and sell crystal meth.

Yep. Good ol’ bikers. Anyways. The Lost and Damned is packed with fist fights, gun fights, and lots of violence. I really liked the development of Johnny as he turned into a loyal member of the Lost that took orders without question, to a member of the Lost that began to question his leader’s motives and decisions.

The rest of the characters are just pissed off most of the game, and they hurl insults at one another.  But the other characters aren’t important so I won’t talk about them. Like I said they’re just pissed off.

I won’t stay on the Lost and Damned for long because Johnny is my least favorite GTA protagonist so far. Because of his thick Southern accent.

That’s it.

Anyways. I did enjoy the Lost and Damned, but the missions felt sort of recycled. This was a big problem in GTA IV, because every third or fourth mission you went on you would simply barge into a warehouse (or a similar, large and decrepit looking building) and then you would proceed to gun down dozens of armed men. And then you’d leave with Roman, or Little Jacob, or some other similar ally and that was the mission. I mean they were fun the first few times. “Oh. Okay we’re going to this large warehouse and we’re gonna get into the SHIT.” And then Niko dives over the hood of a car and then blind-fires over the roof and screams “FUUUUUUUU-HUUUUCK YOU!”

But then you do the same thing repeatedly in the Lost and Damned. Bleh. I guess it just got a bit repetitive. If you really dug the shoot-up-a-warehouse-full-of-bad-guys thing in GTA IV then you’ll probably love the Lost and Damned.

Anyways. The Ballad of Gay Tony was much better in comparison to the Lost and Damned.

Well. The Ballad of Gay Tony has clubs. That was the selling point. Go in and dance and mingle and listen to the super fly electro songs boom out of the stereos. That’s all it took. I like BoGT A LOT more than LatD. The storyline is a bit more interesting, and the characters are fantastic. The character Yusuf is my favorite because of his ridiculous antics.

Yep.

BoGT also brought back something great from San Andreas that GTA IV left behind.

Parachutes.

It also brought back some more of the more ridiculous missions that remind me of the old games. Like pushing a guy that is afraid of heights out of a moving helicopter; so that you can dive out and fly down after him. All of this so you can get information out of him. It reminds me of the SA mission where you tie a mobster to the front of your convertible then drive on the freeway into oncoming traffic to get information out of him as well.

The ridiculous characters, missions, and storyline all tied together to give a much better experience over LatD.

*images courtesy of Google*