Friday, October 12, 2007

Come check out my Company of Heroes game idea at the Relic forums. I came up with it while thinking about World in Conflict, Team Fortress 2, and World of Warcraft. Tell me what ya think, or write a supportive post in the forum thread if you think it's a good idea!

Here's the gist of it:

"I think it'd be cool if Relic made a spin-off game (or game mode?) of COH, one that's designed more for casual gamers, for people who aren't really into RTS's, but still think COH is very impressive and fun to play.. if the game could be simplified, that is.

The idea is that instead of having each player control/build an entire army on his own, each player would instead be given a single unit (or squad) to control. If the game has 16 players, it would have 16 units/squads running around the map, battling it out. The game would mostly still play out the same way as it does currently: players would still fight over control points in order to gather resources. So, for example, Player 1 would be an Engineer squad, and nothing else. His goal would be to run around repairing friendly vehicles, setting mines, defensive structures, and so forth. And with a carefully tweaked resource system, he would have to spend resources in order to do various tasks. Meanwhile, Player 2, on the same team as Player 1, is a MG team. Player 3 is a Sherman tank. Player 4 is a Halftrack. And so forth. Each player has his strengths and weaknesses, and each has his role to play in the battle. And if any of them wanted to change to another type of unit or squad, they would select a new "class" and go."

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sign the "Allow Xbox360 to play with keyboard and mouse" petition!

Although I've owned the 360 for a while now, and have played and enjoyed many FPS games on it using the gamepad, I still want keyboard and mouse support. FPS games and RTS games would be so much more enjoyable. Plus, MMORPGs like World of Warcraft could come to the 360.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Video game onslaught!!


The next few months is going to be a crazy time for video game enthusiasts. There's just so many great games coming out! Student grades will fall, sleep will be lost, spouses will threaten divorce, and the nerd population of the world will increase. To help prepare you for the coming months, I present some of the games I'm looking forward to the most.

Ace Combat 6 (Xbox 360)
Release date: October 23rd

Ace Combat 6 is an action air combat game where realism takes a back seat to having simple, action packed, cinematic-style fun. If you ever thought the movie Top Gun was cool, this is the game for you. The basic game goes like this: hop into a sleek jet fighter of your choice, target and destroy enemies with missiles, dodge missiles shot at you, rinse and repeat. As you play, you'll unlock more powerful weapons and jet fighters to play with. It may seem hard to fly a jet fighter (and in real life I'm sure it is!), but in the Ace Combat games you merely need to point your jet's nose towards a target, let your missile lock onto a target, then shoot the missile. The main challenge of the game is knowing when to shoot your missile so that its chances of hitting home are highest.

Why am I looking forward to this game? The graphics are incredible! And the number of planes flying around in the sky at one time has been significantly increased since Ace Combat 5. Plus, in some of the missions, you'll get to defend a fictionalized version of San Francisco, and its Golden Gate Bridge. Cool.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360, PC, Playstation 3)
Release date: November 5th

Call of Duty 4 is a first-person shooter game, and much like Ace Combat, it presents a "Hollywood" approach to war. Pick up a weapon, manually aim it at your enemies, and shoot.

While all of the previous Call of Duty games have been set in World War 2, this one is set in the current day. You play from the viewpoints of soldiers from different national militaries, all cooperating to stop a terrorist plot. Personally I think the story is pretty cheesy, and from reading previews of the game, it's obviously a rip off of the most recent season of TV's 24. But the Call of Duty games have never been about story, but exciting and chaotic gameplay.

COD4 emphasizes movie-style military heroics through heavily scripted action sequences. What that means is that as you play, a carefully orchestrated series of events will take place, with you right in the middle of it. You might be running along, chasing after retreating enemies, when all of a sudden... an enemy tank comes crashing through a wall. It fires its gun, causing a building to come crashing down around you. As debris surrounds you, you try to escape the building before being crushed to death. This series of events is a game "script," and if you play the mission again, these events will unfold again in the exact same way.

Many games have scripted gameplay events like COD, but the COD series is commonly seen as the king of scripted gameplay. Each of their scripts is memorable and fun to participate in.

Rock Band (Xbox 360, Playstation 2, Playstation 3)
Release date: November 23rd

This is the game that everyone can, and will, enjoy. Rock Band gives you four different game controllers, each a simplified version of a real life musical instrument. One microphone for a singer, two guitars, and a drum set. With this, you'll play this music rhythm game with up to 3 friends and pretend you're all part of a rock band. The singer must sing along with the music, much like you would during karaoke. Meanwhile, the guitarists and drummer must play their instruments, hitting buttons on their controllers at the right moment in order to score points.

Publisher MTV Games and distributor Electronic Arts plan to include hundreds of popular songs in the game. For a list of some of the songs expected at release, go here.

(Side story: During the summers, I work as a game tester at Electronic Arts. I was *so* close to being a game tester for this game! Argh! If only I had told them I was a good singer, instead of a mediocre one... I was only being modest, I'm sure I sing better than most of the other applicants, even if that's not saying much. Haha.)