It seems like every time you talk to a gamer, everyone’s got questions about DayZ, but no one really knows what it is. Those that have played it can’t explain it, and those who haven’t played it are mesmerized by it.
Well, my friends, I’ve been to the world of Chernarus. I’ve seen a sample of its darkest side. I can only describe it as “frustrating” and “thrilling.”
In order to play DayZ, first you need to get your hands on a copy of Arma II: Combined Operations. There’s a reason why this is a top-selling game on Steam. Once you plunk down the cash for ARMA (which I hear is a pretty good game itself, but am far too busy to actually play) you have to grab the mod files from the official site. I downloaded a program called Six Updater which will automatically patch the game for you. It’s actually broken into two separate programs: Six Updater and Six Launcher. You use the Launcher to update the game, and use the Updater to play the game. Confusing, I know. Instead, go download DayZ Commander and install that, too.
You have now downloaded almost 17GB worth of data. So can you play now?
No. Because you have no idea how to play.
Start by firing up DayZ Commander and picking a server. It has a Friend search option so you can meet up with your buds, but the odds of running into them when you first start are pretty slim.
Okay, cool, you find a server, you log in, you spawn. You get a split second to see the name of the city you’re in by glancing at fading text in the bottom right corner of the screen. Better check the map!
So you have no idea what to do. You heard that you find guns in buildings, but zombies spawn around buildings. You don’t start with any weapons, so you have to find a building to kill the zombies you’re avoiding. Good thing there’s other humans to help you when you start out, right?
You spawn with bandages and minor supplies, which could be handy to a veteran who’s stock-piling in his private barricade on the server. Your inventory and character are cross-server, so if you log out here, you’ll log back in right back where you left off.
Eventually you respawn in a city where you manage to find some items, but not before getting chased by zombies through the woods. You die again since you didn’t understand how the inventory works. Then you die again because you can’t figure out how to bandage your squirting wound. Then you die again because you can’t jump and get trapped with barbed wire and zombies.
If this game is so difficult, why do people praise it?
You make allies, you find items, you band together, and you start your own private reserve. You team up to scavenge for food, hunt, kill bandits who want to steal from you, and cover each other’s asses.
In fact, just watch this.
Yes, there are vehicles. Yes, it’s overwhelming sometimes. Yes, you’ll enjoy it.
DayZ is intense, and if you have a thirst for adventure and ill-gained goods, this may be something you’ve been looking for.
We’ve mentioned Wreck-It Ralph here before. Well now the Disney movie has a trailer.
Doesn’t that look like a fun movie? The cameo appearances are pretty awesome and the tongue in cheek references to game genres look spot on. This is a movie I’m dying to see.
See you next week.
ShiftyLook has made a name for itself by creating webcomics based on Namco Bandai games including classics like Xevious and Sky Kid. Well, now they’re setting up for a special celebration.
May is shaping up to be quite the month for gamers as more and more great titles seem to have a release date next month. One of those games is Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which from everything I’ve seen tells me that Call of Duty and Battlefield can kindly step aside, because Ubisoft is about to shoot them both in the head otherwise. The trailer below shows off their interesting Gunsmith mechanic which allows you to take a gun and totally customize it from stock to barrel. With so many customizations, Ubisoft boasts up to twenty million possible combinations for any situation. To make things even more addicting, there will be an app for IOS and Android so you can customize your guns away from home, that way when you return you will have a sweet new gun to blast away your enemies. Check out the new trailer and tell us what you think.
Capcom has announced, via press release, that April 25th will see the legendary Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 joining several other Capcom classics on the iOS. While the idea of something so frantic like a crossover fighter running on a phone with touch controls sounds just as insane as the game itself, Capcom ensures that the game will stay true to the original and will retain features such as the variable system and team hyper combos. View the exciting press release, as well as some screenshots below!
Today at C2E2, Namco Bandai’s group ShiftyLook held a panel discussing the use of webcomics to increase brand awareness. There was also a special announcement.
The Simpsons Arcade Game arrived on the scene in 1991, two years after the animated family debuted on FOX. It’s not often we review games that debuted so long ago, but with a port of the game recently released for XBox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, we figured we’d make an exception and see how the classic arcade brawler holds up in the modern day.
The story kicks off when the youngest Simpson, baby Maggie, picks up a diamond that billionaire and local power plant owner, Mr. Burns, has been plotting to steal. Rather than negotiate with the family, Burns has his right hand man, Waylon Smithers, kidnap the girl which sets the other members of the Simpson clan on a chase to save Maggie. Needless to say, the story isn’t very deep and is filled with extreme plot holes. Under what circumstances is Maggie able to snag a priceless diamond? Wouldn’t kidnapping an infant land you in enough trouble that the police would be at your door instead of the child’s family carrying out a vigilante mission to retrieve her? While almost all games require some suspension of logic, the faults are impossible to ignore. Thankfully, 90s arcade brawlers aren’t known for their storytelling, so it’s not game ruining or unexpected that the plot leaves a lot to be desired.
While questionable plots can be overlooked, combat is undeniably the most essential aspect of gameplay in a beat ‘em up and is a major fault in this game. You can take on your enemies as either Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa Simpson, though who you select merely affects what weapon you use. Bart attacks his enemies with his skateboard, Lisa uses her jump rope as a whip, Marge wields a vacuum cleaner, and Homer charges into battle with his bare fists, but they all there’s next to no variation beyond slight visual differences. The best titles in the genre adhere to a ‘simple to pick up, difficult to master’ fighting system where novices can initially get by with basic punches and kicks, but in time progress to advanced maneuvers to deal with stronger foes. The Simpsons Arcade Game offers a limited number of actions in battle and never lets the player make the jump from relying on simple blows to having a growing arsenal of attacks at his command. Rather, the majority of your time fighting is spent mindlessly mashing the attack button. You can also carry out a jumping attack and when partaking in multiplayer, you can perform a combo with the aid of a fellow Simpson. When you’ve had enough of your fists, or er, vacuum cleaner, doing the talking, there are also items scattered through the levels you can fling to inflict damage. It’s a rudimentary system and the repetitiveness becomes draining after a few levels.
The game supports 4 player co-op so friends can get in on the action as well. Obviously, the more players there are, the easier it is to breeze through throngs of enemies. Since you’re so often outnumbered and death can feel cheap and undeserved, this is a good thing, but be warned a party of 4 can lead to the screen being extremely cluttered and confusing.
Those already familiar with The Simpsons Arcade Game will find themselves right at home. The emulation is spot on and longtime Simpsons fans will take pleasure from seeing some of the series’ lesser known and forgotten characters (yes, that is Bleeding Gums Murphy) hanging out in the background. Though the game provides some fan service in offering visual gags, it lacks the polish and tone that we’ve come to associate with The Simpsons. More recent titles featuring the family have been full of humorous dialogue that rivals that found in the show’s finest seasons, and plenty of allusions that hardcore fans can pick up on. That can be attributed to the technological limitations of the day and the fact that in 1991 The Simpsons hadn’t yet hit the peak of its humor, but it’s worth mentioning that the few funny moments in the game will be in the form of visual gags and not the side-splitting dialogue or situational humor the show has come to be associated with.
The game doesn’t look awful, considering its age, but it definitely doesn’t stack up to modern games. The animation is often stiff and characters look block-like, but for players of the original, it’s preferable to a visual update with the same dull mechanics. The locations of levels are interesting, even if they don’t make sense within the context of the game. Areas like the graveyard and the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant are diverse enough to keep the scenery looking fresh and Dreamland is a trippy, monochrome delight. In the event you needed to be reminded you’re playing an arcade game, there’s a border around the screen to resemble an arcade cabinet by default. Personally, I prefer to turn the option off because it takes up too much of the screen and doesn’t add value to the experience.
Needless to say, with a massive improvement in technology over the last two decades, what passed as quality gaming in the early 90s seems far less impressive by today’s standards. Though the game deserves accolade for being a spot on emulation, it’s those who have a fond nostalgia for the arcade game who will bestow praise on it’s latest incarnation as a downloadable title. Undeniably, The Simpsons Arcade Game has noticeably aged and those discovering it for the first time may be easily turned off by the blocky animation and simple mechanics. Younger audiences and new gamers are likely to gloss over the positive facets and focus on how poorly it stacks up to contemporary games. I know it sounds unfair to criticize a game that came out over 20 years ago for looking old, but truthfully its age shows and the gameplay isn’t enough to make up for it. The replay value is low, and after beating the game there’s little incentive to try for a second playthrough.
Overall, Konami‘s port of our favorite yellow family’s arcade adventures is a sound choice if you’re looking to take a stroll down memory lane, but those picking it up for the first time could have disappointment in store.
The Simpsons Arcade Game
|Pros||Excellent emulation of the arcade game; Diverse levels with interesting art design; Fun co-op|
|Cons||Combat is over-simplified and a bore; At around 40 minutes the game is extremely short; Low replay value; Exhibits little of the series' trademark humor|
|Verdict||If you loved the arcade game, you'll probably enjoy the port though it's obviously aged poorly. If you've never played the arcade game and don't have a nostalgic investment in it, steer clear.|
Earlier this week, Irrational Games made an announcement that undoubtedly thrilled Bioshock fans. The upcoming Bioshock Infinite will contain an optional feature, titled 1999 Mode, that will provide gamers with a more challenging and in-depth experience.
1999 Mode will present players with situations where their actions have an irreversible impact on the game. This forces players to adopt specific specializations and carefully consider the consequences of their in-game actions. In a statement Irrational Games posted on their blog revealing the mode, it is noted that if decisions are made that steer you away from your personal style of playing, your character will suffer as a result. Irrational Games‘ creative director, Ken Levine, has said that the mode is intended to appeal to their “oldest and most committed fans.”
Bioshock Infinite is currently in development for XBox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC and is scheduled to release this year.
This morning on NPR (National Public Radio) there was a feature about video game music as well as MAGfest. I have always liked NPR because they often have neat stories about stuff you typically don’t hear about on the news. Today is no different. They discuss the topic of Video Game music with Nobuo Uematsu as well as Daniel Behrens of Armcannon. To hear the audio of this great news story, click here . How does video game music make you feel?