As a child, I often watched my dad and my brother play old game consoles like the Super Nintendo and the Megadrive (Genesis) and among other things they played rail shooters like Starfox and Space Harrier. These are shooting games (shoot them up in back view) in a ship (or with a jetpack for Space Harrier) where although being on a rail you can move all over the screen to avoid shots and aim the enemies.
Later I played it for my own culture with the release of the Snes mini (for Starfox and on emulator on 3ds, later, for Space Harrier) and I admit I got hooked on this little spaceship pilot fox but the game had a flaw for me is that although being a technical feat at the time, the game must run at 20 fps and frankly I who am used to very fluid pc games, I had a lot of trouble staying on the game. Fortunately for me thanks to twitter, I came across a little game that will please all fans and anyone who would like to discover this kind of rail shooter.
From homage to plagiarism, there is only one step, which Ex-Zodiac crosses cheerfully and without complex. However, he does it with such panache that we will gladly forgive him for having so faithfully and scrupulously modeled his excellent models.
For an early access, the quality is surprising, whether it’s the classy realization, the balancing, the handling, or even the adjustment options which already offer the essentials… I take my hat off to this small studio of motivated fans who finally manages very well to reproduce the excellence of the feeling of legendary games of big firms.
The game currently offers 6 main Starfox-style levels, and each of these levels contains a hidden item allowing access to a Space Harrier-style secondary level, which gives a little replayability in addition to the scoring system.
Honestly, I only have minor trifles to complain about, and even as it is, Ex-Zodiac is very well worth its very affordable launch price of €8!
I have a joystick that I failed to configure on this game.
I would have liked difficulty choices
After all, the game is in early access so these may be things that will be added later.
I haven’t detected any problem serious enough to spoil the pleasure: for me, it’s a little favorite, and an extremely promising early game that is already worth looking into. A surprisingly clean job that deserves to be rewarded and remunerated, especially given the rather low price demanded for this scoring-oriented rail shooter with excellent replayability potential.
Lately I’ve had the flu so I’m more or less bedridden. To pass the time between two sneezes, I took the opportunity to discover some old games and I came across “Strife: Quest for the Sigil” finally I play its reissue which allows you to easily play it in HD on Steam and without tweaking his PC “Strife: Veteran Edition”.
The Steam page talks about Strife as a classic released in 1996 but for my part, I talked about it around me, no one seems to know this game even though it seems to me to have some great qualities for the time.
Strife: Precursor to Deus Ex
In addition to having been forgotten by everyone when he invented many mechanics that will have brought glory to his descendants, Strife had a complicated development.
A complicated genesis:
In 1992 Scott Host created a video game studio in Chicago called Cygnus Interactive, whose most famous game was a Shoot them up called Raptor call of the shadows in 1994. At the same time Scott and one of his colleagues are starting to work on a 3d game project called Second Sword. Upon learning this, ID Software, the creators of Wolfnstein, Doom, Quake (in short, the fps gods of the time) decided to contact them to offer them a deal which basically said:
“You’re good, Raptor was a good game. So instead of tinkering with a technically outdated thing, come join us in Texas and we’ll give you the engine of Doom.”
A difficult proposition for Scott to refuse. Unfortunately, the transition is proving difficult. The new project being much more complex than Second Sword, the studio had to hire a lot. This change of scale, coupled with the stress of the move, results in serious interpersonal problems within Cygnus. Annoyed, Scott drops the case and returns to Chicago. The other employees stay in Dallas and found Rogue Entertainment, which will continue the development of this new project: Strife. But the delay was substantial and when the game finally came out in May 1996, it was already overtaken by the competition. Duke Nukem 3D arrived earlier this year, Quake will be released a month later. A game using Doom’s engine, I guess immediately come across as cheesy.
A revolution :
However, when you play it again in 2023, you realize that Strife was a good game. Where interaction in Duke Nukem 3D boiled down to slipping bills into strippers’ underwear and, in id games, to empty magazines into the heads of the dreadful people who rushed at us (finally in the belly it also worked since there was no localization of the damage), Strife already offered a city populated by passers-by going about their business, merchants of equipment and care, NPCs giving main and secondary quests and especially enemies whose behavior depended on the context: the guards of the Order (local equivalent of the Galactic Empire, against which stands a rebellion that will join the protagonist) did not attack on sight but only when the alarm was triggered or the player entered a prohibited area. Areas that otherwise were linked to each other like those of a Half-Life, the smooth transitions between levels giving the impression of a single vast open space.
Of course, Strife wasn’t perfect. In wanting to create realistic environments with an engine as limited as that of Doom, Rogue has sometimes crashed: the sets remain very abstract (hence the omnipresence of panels which are there to remind us that such a building is a prison or a power plant) and we sometimes come across guys who seem to have chosen to take up residence in secret passages. While the game world is open, it’s also quite small, with a single village that acts as the central area. And even if the scenario contains some good ideas – in particular an unexpected twist halfway through – it remains b-movies or z-movies next to the Hollywood staging of that of Half-Life or the quality of writing of Deus Ex.
But above all, playing Strife in 2023 allows you to enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of placing it back in the history of video games, to notice how this FPS-RPG, revolutionary on many points, is a “transition game”, both very modern and filled with clichés inherited from the first FPS. There is a weapon to assemble like in Hexen, teleporters and cupboards that make enemies appear right behind the player like in the cheapest level of Doom… And all these elements, a little outdated perhaps, make also from Strife a kind of lungfish, a weird thing stuck between two stages of evolution, unique and a little farted but not devoid of charm.
I really had a good moment in front this game so I hope if you try it you will have the same!
Have a good day, take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!
And this is how Doom became such a social phenomenon
Doom to conquer the world | Love the cursed
Entirely self-published game, distributed in shareware (the first act was distributed free of charge and if you paid you received the rest of the game), Doom did not benefit from any advertising. But a few weeks after its release, when the first rave reviews from the specialized press are barely appearing, the game is already bringing in $100,000 a day for its creators. College and corporate computer networks are saturated with IPX packets generated by deathmatch games. It’s as if the whole world, in one voice, had begun to hum the first chords of the legendary “At Doom’s Gate”, which greets the player at the start of the first level.
Sold directly by its developer without distribution in major chains, intended for a platform, the PC, on which most users do not play (yet), Doom, unlike Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or Super Mario, is not , in early 1994, a name known to the general public. This is, paradoxically, what will be its strength.
Cash… Commercially, first. The absence of a publisher allows id Software to keep most of the income generated by the game. The money flows into the coffers of the studio which, once its car park is completely filled with Ferraris, no longer knows what to do with it. Newly rich but aware of their origins – at best modest, at worst really difficult – the brats of id, each in their own way, do a series of good deeds. John Carmack bails out $100,000 bail for a former high school friend, a problem kid like him, who ended up in jail, and donates thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment to his old elementary school to “encourage the kids to experiment and not be satisfied with what is in the books”. Romero pays his grandparents a vacation and gives his old car to the owner of his favorite restaurant. Adrian Carmack buys a house for his mother to get her out of the rotten neighborhood where she lived for years.
Don’t imagine that the id team was made up of disinterested and naive nerds. The monstrous success of Doom is also the result of a diabolically efficient business model: not only can the first episode, shareware, be freely distributed, but shopkeepers are even encouraged to sell it in the form they want and to retain all profits. In one of the most incredible win-win deals in history, all video game shops and mail-order companies are therefore encouraged to sell for their benefit, without a penny to pay and at no cost other than the reproduction of the floppy disks and the packaging, the most prominent game of the moment – at the same time providing free publicity for id Software, from which hordes of conquered players then order two thirds of the absent game of the shareware version.
Big corporations, like IBM and Microsoft, watch in amazement as a bunch of 25-year-old kids in Metallica T-shirts succeed – they have no choice anyway: IT company executives spend their days of staging deathmatches on corporate networks instead of working, so much so that software designed to seek out and erase all copies of Doom installed on a system is beginning to appear – and wondering about its future. In a fairly correct intuition, which foreshadows the arrival of the GAFAs, in particular Google and Facebook, they wonder: are they not in danger of being overwhelmed, with their army of salespeople and their old-fashioned inventory management, in the face of to hyper-agile boxes, put together by a small group of nerds who know their customers and can directly supply digital copies of their products? Admittedly, id is in the business of desoldering monsters with virtual machine guns, but what will happen the day a company of this type offers a competing product to those of Microsoft? The day when the “information highways”, as they said then, will be able to transmit ten, a hundred, a thousand, a million times more data? While the general press largely continues to ignore the phenomenon, the economic magazine Forbes devotes a very serious article to id Software, presented as the prototype of what will be the entrepreneurial successes of the 21st century.
Trash… The specialized press, for its part, is full of praise. Compute admires an “incredible action game” that will change the idea of the PC forever. Electronic Games remarks that next to Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, released not even two years earlier, “looks like an antique”. The very serious The Guardian which, like Liberation in France, took an early interest in “digital cultures”, splits a brief article which evokes a game “not intended for children or sensitive people. As for Matt Firme of PC Gamer, he complains about a game that “stole his life” with its “hypnotically beautiful” graphics and is afraid of ending up like those people you meet on the BBS, who see their obsession with Doom cost them their marriage or their job. Some evoke the word “cyber-opiate” when they talk about the game, haloing even more with a scent of the forbidden a title already sulphurous by its violence and its theme – especially in a country like the United States, always quick to moral panics as soon as Satan rears his horns.
This is the second particularity generated by the shareware distribution of Doom, outside the traditional commercial circuits, carried only by word of mouth, almost “under the hood”: it contributes to giving the game a counter-cultural status. Like the name of metal or industrial groups, such as Nine Inch Nails (whose singer/composer/man band, Trent Reznor, is an absolute fan of Doom, to which he devotes his days between two concerts – he will also compose the Quake soundtrack), that of Doom is immediately recognized by insiders (PC gamers, hackers, nerd students who hang out on BBSs), but remains totally unknown to the rest of the population. Familiarity with the latter therefore becomes a mark of belonging to the beginnings of the Internet counter-culture, whose codes Doom takes up while helping to define them: violence, bad taste, obsession with action films and electric guitars – Doom is the synthesis, if not of the imagination of an entire generation, in any case of an emerging cultural group. The soundtrack by composer Bobby Prince, who has been widely derided for his borrowings (rumor has it that Prince, who was a lawyer before becoming staff composer for Apogee and then id Software, knew exactly how many bars of Pantera or Alice in Chains he could afford to reproduce without falling under the law), was no accident: Romero entrusted him with a stack of albums containing just about every rock hit from the 1980s and 90 for him to use as inspiration.
But Doom, above all, helps to give the kings of this new counter-culture, the video game programmers, a status close to that of rock stars. There were already famous programmers (one thinks of Richard Garriott from Origin, or Ken and Roberta Williams from Sierra), but none had played their status to such an extent. The personality of John Romero, who connects the LANs to the four corners of the country where, wearing an “I wrote it” T-shirt (“I wrote it”), he calls his opponents sons of bitches during frenzied deathmatches, has a lot to do with it – like every star since James Dean, he even has the right to a rumor claiming him dead in a car accident. The proximity of this new game to the works that monopolized the best places at the box office – action films and SF have been on the rise since the reorganization of Hollywood – contribute even more. Ivan Reitman, hyper-bankable director of the Ghostbusters, is optioning a film adaptation of Doom. The trash and metal counterculture is certainly violent, but the mainstream culture, too, is becoming more rock’n’roll, more ironic, more trashy, than it was in the past – and those who, by taste or out of prudishness, refuse to play according to the rules of the new generation, risk quickly passing for old-fashioned.
Thus, learning that the shareware version of Doom is installed on more computers than its new operating system that Microsoft wishes to make credible as a gaming platform, Bill Gates’ box has the idea of organizing a big Doom party on Halloween Day 1995. Under the impetus of Alex St. John, director of the fledgling DirectX project, and Mike Wilson, the creator of the online game platform DWANGO hired by id Software (he later co-founded Devolver Digital ), is organized an evening in total rupture with the atmosphere “light blue shirt” that we associate with Microsoft. Dozens of high-level deathmatchers are invited to face off, while the horrified club executives walk through a set created by the heavy metal band Gwar (accustomed to crazy stage performances, and commissioned by id Software for the deco) whose centerpiece is a giant plastic vulva adorned with dildos that act as teeth. Some guests wear a disguise imitating the antiheroes of Born Killers, the film at the heart of all the controversy in the mid-1990s. In the background, a trashy industrial rock band (friends of Mike Wilson), whose music was not to everyone’s taste, so much so that security ended up going on stage to disconnect the sound system, at the request of Microsoft employees. Highlight of the evening, the still famous video where Bill Gates, embedded in the decor of WinDoom (the Windows 95 port of Doom), kills an imp with a shotgun blast – a video produced at the initiative of St. John, who had all the trouble in the world to convince his boss’s public relations officers. At the end of the show, suddenly realizing what had just happened, Alex St. John is convinced that he will find a dismissal letter on his desk the next day. This will not be the case. Due to its economic weight, id Software’s teenage subculture had become tolerable.
And rock’n’roll. If the video of Bill Gates in a trenchcoat has something comical about it, other trenchcoats, very present in the news of the 1990s, quickly gave a darker connotation to the virtual shootings. Since day one, Doom has been subject to criticism. Its violence got it banned for sale in Brazil, and the presence of Nazi symbols in Doom 2’s secret levels (tributes to Wolfenstein 3D) results in it being banned in Germany, which doesn’t mess with these things- there. Even in his country of origin, Doom is not in the odor of holiness. Joseph Liberman, a Democratic senator from Connecticut who had been on a crusade for the regulation of video games since the release of Mortal Kombat and Night Trap in 1992, organized a series of hearings with the industry in 1993 which resulted in the creation of the ‘ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), responsible for assigning an age rating to games. The first PC title to be rated “mature” (not recommended for those under 17) was Doom 2. The first console title, the Super NES port of Doom. Paradoxically, finding oneself thus in the crosshairs and subject to the moral judgment of the authorities contributes to push certain publishers and developers – the most blatant example being Sony, which sees in it a means of distinguishing itself from the very politically correct Nintendo – to play thoroughly the card of provocation and violence.
This also contributes to the definition, this time negative, of the contours of the counter-culture of the 1990s, a mixture of depressive grunge played by the children of divorced people and relayed by MTV, with Satanist references and pixelated ultraviolence. Faced with this wave of black T-shirts, the concern of parents and American moral authorities, quick to see the trace of the devil in each disappearance of a child since the West Memphis Three (the nickname given to three young people wrongly accused, at the end of a botched investigation, of the ritual murder of kids in a lost corner of Arkansas in 1993), is growing throughout the decade. It reached its tragic climax on April 20, 1999, in a Colorado town called Littleton, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed thirteen high school students before turning their guns on themselves. “It’s gonna be like a fucking game of Doom!” shouts Eric Harris, author of a few WADs for Doom 2, in a video recorded shortly before the killing, where he brandishes a shotgun. When columnists and politicians search for the cause of this senseless act of violence, they find two culprits: a rockstar, Marilyn Manson, and a game, Doom. Never mind that Manson, unlike his mentor Trent Reznor, never had the slightest regard for video games, or that Harris and Klebold weren’t more “obsessive Doom players”, to use the words of the President Clinton (yes…), than the average boy of their age. It’s the same aesthetic, the same counter-culture, the same generation, necessarily dangerous. For better or for worse, the video game is no longer just a toy. He is, like jazz, rock and comics before him, one of the avatars of a new culture that will take the world by storm.
According to the statistics of the burglaries of my city, breaking doors to recover treasures is one of the favorite activities of human beings. This undoubtedly explains why the hack’n slash is almost as old as video games and how an expression formerly depreciative came to designate a successull type of game.
Like almost everything that displays dragons and swords on a computer screen, the hack’n slash come straight line from the role -playing game on the table. It was also in 1980 in a Dragon Magazine issue, an official revealed of Dungeons and Dragons, that we find the first occurrence of the expression: “There is a great potential for More Than Hacking and Slashing in D&D”
With other terms, such as that of “Munchkin” or “minimaxing”, it is associated with the very fighting-xp-optimization approach (or to say it more politely: “Door-Monster-Treasure”) of the game of role. Logically, it is used to designate the first action video games inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, like Golden Axe or Rastan.
By extension the term comes to describe any action game with vertical or horizontal scrolling in which we fight enemia with arms-to-body weapons, like Ninja Gaiden. And in the high spheres of “video game testers” (that is to say, at that time, the twenty-year-olds who tested games in the first specialized journals), the term retains a pejorative dimension: when a More ambitious game in terms of narration, gameplay or universe construction, whether it is a Zelda or an Ultima, we often compare it favorable to “hack’n slash “Which, themselves, boil down to their fights and its destiny for more muscular fingertips than brain.
DISORDER IN THE TYPE OF GAMES. Besides, at the release of Diablo in 1996, the press does not consider it as a hack’n slash but as an RPG, even going as far as not to recognize that it is about ‘A stupid click-click-boom-boom game. Trent Ward writes for example for Gamespot that if the character of the warrior “will appeal to lovers of action games” the Rogue and the magician are “intended for strategy fans”. A game controlled with mouse, descending in real time of the ancient Roguelikes in ASCII (that is what the RPG on PC was more hardcore), which was based on a system of strict rules rather than on the players of the player, could not be another Something that a variation, certainly a little combat oriented from Ultima. It took, for the term hack’n slash to take from its current meaning, the sequence of two events.
First of all, the appearance of the term action-RPG, designating these descendants of immersive Sims who have various degrees, from Daggerfall (second episode of the Elder Scrolls) to Deus Ex, were more and more numerous to mix elements From Role Playing Games and 3D real -time universes, so much so that they have become the norm. To differentiate these games from the heirs of Diablo II, it was necessary for its latest, a new name.
The second is precisely the release of Diablo II, which has registered in marble the codes of a new kind, of the possibility of modifying the objects by setting them from gems and runes to the division of the adventure into acts. Again, the term hack’n slash, this time associated for good with the games that we know today under this name, was used to distinguish, in a pejorative way, this kind of games from another considered more Rich: any “action” as they are, the Elder schools deserve the beautiful name of RPG, when the Blizzard casinos were only vulgar hack’n slash.
THE QUARREL OF HARDCORE AND MODERNS. If the Hack’n Slash after Diablo II have never really managed to break with their model, they have not stopped evolving. Some of the first major competitors sought to stand out by moving away from the Dark Fantasy side and the serious spirit of the illustrious Encitre (Torchlight), and others have renounced to the random generation for the benefit of a gigantic world Hand -created by developers (Titan Quest). But we had to wait for Diablo III (2012) that the first real breakup took place, for better and for worse.
Until now, the hack’n slash, for lack of a particularly deep or punitive gameplay, had the main difficulty rests on the construction of the character. It is to the knowledge of the effective builds that we recognized a good player and most of the skills choices were final or, at least, required large sacrifices of time or gold coins to be canceled.
Blizzard, with his experience with the MMOs, decided to break with this punitive character and further push the logic of incremental play by creating a game in which it was not only impossible to regress, but also where no choice would be final. The release of Reaper of Souls in 2014 further broke the nail by breaking definitively with one of the last elements imported from traditional role -playing games: the “Directorist” narration. No need to follow a story, we could now be content to teleport from one place to another in the world to grinder experience and objects, a level of difficulty that can be changed freely allowing to adjust the level of difficulty (and awards) with the desired experience.
But even the least hardcore of video game genres still has its snobs and certain, especially among the fan of Diablo II, criticized the new blizzard game for having broken with the complexity of traditional hack’n slash. It is notably with them that the excellent Path of Exile has its success, overcoming both the fidelity to the canons of old blizzard and complexity, with one of the most complex and passive skills system from the history of the video game. For the first time a hack’n slash was considered unworthy of the name for excessive simplicity. The times are changing.
I love the hack’n slash since I was very small. I watched Dad playing Diablo II sitting on his lap at the damn of my mom. It is true that I suppose that a game filled with demons and zombies is not necessarily the ideal for the awakening of a baby even if I am sure that it is no less harmful than certain programs for the Youth passing on television !!!
Anyway, I’ve started with Diablo II at 13 and I love it very much. Now I happen to replay it from time to time on his remaster released a few years ago, I continued on Titan Quest then I had to play most games released in the genre.
I also played Path of Exile and Diablo III and I don’t really understand this controversy. Diablo III when it was released was a problematic game but because of a sales hotel system that unbalanced the game and made it unplayable if you didn’t want to spend money. I think that’s what really hurt its reputation. Since it has disappeared and with the arrival of its Diablo III Reaper of Souls extension has been a much better game for me than Path of Exile.
Path of Exile is a very good game of course but to want to play it seriously you have to play with a wiki next to itself. To understand the economic system of the game alone is a nightmare for a beginner. With Diablo 3 anyone who can have fun with the start of the game. And for so much it is still deep enough to discover the subtleties of gameplay after several dists or hundreds of hours of play.
Diablo IV is scheduled for June, I can’t wait for its release! It will bring a real world open to the genre and lots of small novelties which will give a wind of freshness to the genre. I have not yet cracking to read all the previews on the net because I want to discover a maximum of things on D -day but what I could see, I want to play it.
If you like the genre I suggest you closely monitored it, for me it is part of my 2 expectations of the year with the new Zelda. If you do not really know the genre I advise you, even if it is not free unlike Path of Exile, to play Diablo III and its extension in addition it is available in a very good version on Nintendo Switch playable in Coop offline. With all this content you will have fun for hours.
PS: This is not a sponsored post!
Take care of yourself and you loved one and see you soon guys!
It’s been a long time since I’ve done it but hey this time I really had to test this thing for you.
Well, Vermintide, I lasted 40 hours before not touching it anymore. Vermintide 2 will have me on board for 120 hours. What about Darktide? boarf, about fifteen hours, do you realize? Yes, that’s it: take a chair, I’m going to have to explain a few things to you and it’s going to be long.
Yes, sorry to welcome you with a big bucket of cold water in your face, but Fatshark’s youngest, who was supposed to arrive in conquered territory, has had his face grinded badly since his release. But let’s take things in order and start with his story. Here, your character is a prisoner sentenced to death. Oh, I’m good. Needless to make this face: this kind of sentences in the Imperium of Warhammer 40,000 are as frequent and commonplace as an identity check by the police in our country. A routine when Chaos, always him, will make an incursion on the planet where your character is incarcerated.
At this stage of the text, I imagine I have already lost 75% of you, so let’s try to popularize it a bit: you are a prisoner who is offered an amnesty in exchange for full cooperation with the local authorities, in order to stem the invasion of a force composed of drooling monsters and other zombified soldiers. Well, is it better like this? It’s crazy how we always get a mountain of Warhammer stories when you just have to remove all your “technical” language to see things more clearly. But back to our dear Warhammer fans.
Here, the story is written by Dan Abnett, oh so talented writer, at the origin of very good books like Eisenhorn, Gaunt’s Ghosts, to name only the most famous. And you know what ? It does not feel at all, since the cutscenes, poor, show a mute hero being rebuffed by a bunch of NPCs just able to remind him over and over that he is not trustworthy. Yes, cutscenes, because in Darktide, unlike Vermintide, missions mostly feel like side objectives, letting the story unfold through cutscenes triggered when your character goes beyond certain experience levels.
Come on, we’re going to try to reassure ourselves by saying that the scenario will certainly be developed over the course of the updates, but that doesn’t hide a really curious treatment and tone of the universe, with a few nods to the pop culture and other jokes, which rub shoulders with a strange soundtrack oscillating between the organ and a kind of technoid jam closer to cyberpunk than grimdark. Really strange. But let’s talk about the game instead, starting with its most visible novelty.
If you’re from Vermintide, you’ll be sure to notice that the characters are now player-created. Yes, finished the Inquisitor or the Witch with their predetermined appearance and history. At first glance, it will therefore be enough to choose a class: an Ogryn to take the blows, a Psyker to neutralize special enemies, a Zealot specialized in hand-to-hand combat and, of course, a Veteran who is gifted in hand-to-hand combat. distance. Combat is more gun-focused and, good news: Fatshark has it covered.
You will have noticed it: that makes four classes against five in Vermintide. A bit of a shame even if the more marked specializations of the Darktide archetypes will help to pass the pill. But that doesn’t mean our avatars are soulless shells, with each agent creation starting with a series of questions. Who are you ? What did you do that stood out? Where are you from ? So many questions to be answered for… nothing. Come on, there are those purple eyes reserved in the character editor for Cadians, but everything else seems totally untapped, with, for example, avatars that will exchange rather generic dialogues during their missions. Weird, weird. There remains, however, the character editor, which is quite complete and allows you to create your own convict. Choice of size, skin color, hairstyle, (many) tattoos… There’s enough to spend a little while there, before you jump into the deep end and go fight.
Inspired by Vermintide 2’s Chaos Waste mode, Darktide’s missions come with a few random modifiers, like this knife-cutting fog.
From the gameplay point of view, the regulars will be in their little slippers, the recipe for this “Left 4 Dead with loot” being taken up, so to speak, identically. In reality, the game mostly offers a change of pace with more gun-focused combat and, good news: Fatshark delivered. No need to dwell on it, but know all the same that the guns are very satisfying to handle and all offer their dose of punch, from the laser rifle ideal for sticking heads in the distance, to the big bolter which becomes enjoyable when necessary to clear a horde.
A point which however did not prevent the developers from improving the melee, with attacks which also offer much more sensations than those of Vermintide, whose donuts sometimes give the impression of hitting in the void. Here, every blow, whether delivered with a knife or a huge hammer, is accompanied by a feeling of startling heaviness and impact.
In Vermintide 2, a shop allows you to buy cosmetics by spending money or Schillings, a currency obtained during our games. Not enough to break three legs at an Aven: those who want to support the studio or have fun will go to the cash register for premium cosmetics, while the others will spend the in-game currency. This recipe, Fatshark has just abandoned it in favor of a much more classic store and even too close to free-to-play, with its monkey money to buy with real euros. You know, that same currency sold in packs so you always have a little savings left over, but not enough to buy anything else. Let’s be clear: it’s a disappointment, both for having a cash shop in a rather empty game, and for the feeling of having to pay to look like something, the cosmetics obtained while playing are not incredible.
If we have to remember one thing from Darktide, it’s that it has just been unmolded too hot. And for the rest ? Again, Fatshark seems to have approached the Vermintide recipe with tweaks at the margin, to make it more enjoyable. Here, it is the Psykers – equivalent to the Witch – who benefit from a final warning before burning themselves out with their spells. There, it’s a system of care stations that allow you to get back on your feet if you manage to bring them a battery. Something to keep regulars busy, while newcomers will see above all an effective mix between cooperative FPS and hack & slash. At least, until all the flaws and other gaping holes in the content are obvious to all of them.
If we have to remember one thing from Darktide, it’s that it has just been unmolded too hot. So hot, even, that I don’t know where to start. Come on, let’s talk about what will probably make everyone scream, with the absence of crossplay. Please note, we are not talking about a problem that prevents PC and console players from playing together, but about the impossibility of joining someone who is playing on the Gamepass version if you purchased the game on Steam. Really ugly, though the developers swear they’re working hard to deliver this essential feature as soon as possible.
The customization of the avatar is much more advanced than that of Vermintide 2. Too bad however that the few really nice cosmetics are reserved for the shop. In reality, all this is ultimately not much compared to the poverty of the gameplay, which today ignores the craft by limiting it to a stupid improvement of our equipment. And what about the loot, which is almost non-existent, the weapons offered at the end of the game being extremely rare* and replaced by credits. Yes, stupid credits, which should be spent at an equipment supplier whose list is randomly generated. If you don’t feel an ounce of excitement, know that everything is normal.
Difficult to explain such a step back, except that the Covid could have heavily affected the development of the game and forced the studio to put it on sale in this state to recover finances. A theory that will, alas, not make us forget this sad reality, namely a very simplistic Vermintide if we compare it to its elders, including the day of their respective releases. A game where nothing pushes us to chain the games. A game where you complete a mission, you pick up your credits, you lazily take a look (sporotriche) at the shop and “oh but you saw the time, well that’s not all that, eh but there are the road “. Sadness. The pure. The truth.
But let’s leave on a positive note: Fatshark has proven its know-how in terms of game as a service with Vermintide 2 and the foundations of Darktide today seem sufficiently solid to hope for a bright future. You just have to be more patient than expected.
Six weapons won in fifteen hours during this test.
On the technical side, if a 3060 runs the game between 50 and 60 fps with practically all the details at full blast, Darktide reinforces its “unmolded too hot” aspect with too frequent crashes to be honest. Launching a game is the promise of seeing one or two players who suddenly disappear due to a crash, a temporary freeze that desynchronizes the client with the server and other things. In short, there is still work to be done.
At the moment everyone plays Pokémon Arceus, The proposal of the game made me want but while playing it, the gray and dull side of the graphics made me stop. At this time of year, with the bad weather, I want more colorful games. Talking to my friends I was recommended Monster Hunter Stories 2.
For me, who only played Monster Hunter World alone (because the chat system sucks when you don’t use a microphone) it was a series of boring monster hunting quests. Of course I am aware that I did it in bad conditions and that it is surely a very good license. In short at first sight, when I was told about Monster Hunter Stories, I said to myself that it was not for me, but in fact although the game takes place in the same universe as the main series, this Spin- off is very different.
The combat system:
Indeed we find ourselves here with a kind of Pokémon where the scenario would take a much more important place than usual. We are therefore in a turn-based RPG where the character fights monsters himself accompanied by a monster who fights at his side. The combat system is based on the principle of rock-paper-scissors. You can choose a Power, Speed or Technical type attack. Power beats skill, skill beats speed, and ultimately speed beats power. Our character can choose their attack type each turn, but each monster has an associated attack type. So you have to choose the right attack and the monster that best suits the opponent in front of you and change your strategy as needed during the fight, because opponents can also change your strategy.
There is a lot going on during fights in terms of animation and sometimes there are quick-time events; quite frankly it is not always clear what triggers what; the combat system is deep and looks complex, but remains simple and intuitive.
On the strategy side, it is possible to attack specific parts of the monsters or to use a specific weapon which will be more effective in a given situation. For example, when a monster is holding a rock in front of him as a shield, it’s best to switch weapons to a hammer to break his makeshift shield. At the end of the fight we are rewarded with loots.
Craft and exploration:
As in the main series, crafting is also central to the “Stories” experience. In addition to the pieces of monsters that we pick up after a fight, we can also pick up all kinds of plants, insects, ores and other resources in nature, which will be used to make weapons and armor, but also potions and others. objects that can be used during combat and in the exploration phases. Equipment crafting is simplified with a point system instead of absolutely requiring specific items. When we craft an armor, it is the whole that we craft and not each piece individually as in the main series.
To expand your team of monsters here you have to find eggs and then hatch them. Sometimes you can even come across a “Shiny” monster. During a fight, only one of our monsters is activated at a time, although we can interchange in the middle of the fight. What drives us to explore. I have a lot of fun exploring the world of Monster Hunter Stories 2. We are a rider, a rider who can ride on the back of his monsters. We find open and visually rich landscapes where there are always monsters to fight, resources to pick up or secrets to discover. Some areas will only be accessible if you have the right monster activated. For example, some can jump, some can climb, and some can go in the water. We can come back at any time in the regions already explored if ever you do not have the right monster in your team at the moment. The teleportation points already discovered allow you to quickly move from one point to another in the world.
I am very far from having finished the game but I take a huge pleasure in playing it.
The game is very beautiful although there are some slowdowns (little annoying) on Nintendo Switch, which must be absent from the PC version;
There are plenty of things to do;
The story is interesting and although quite public it is not as childish as some Pokémon (no need to have played the first one to understand it);
A rich and interesting combat system without being too complex.
Exploration is super fun…
In short, if you ever don’t have a switch, that Pokémon Arceus bores you, does not interest you or simply if you like good RPGs, I strongly advise you to play Monster Hunter Stories 2. My only regret is not having played earlier.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!
After a quick spicy bolognese sauce, I embark on this long awaited Mortal Kombat new version and without, I reassure you, a cameo of the unbearable Christophe Lambert. Too busy looking for a role in a Tintin in Congo on the stage.
Between fatalities and action scenes as edgy as they are boosted, the Mortal Kombat reboot has rather convinced a bloodthirsty press. Since its first announcements, and especially its trailer and these famous first 7 minutes, the reboot of Mortal Kombat has given us a glimpse of the best and especially to hope for a faithful adaptation very trashouille. After all, director Simon McQuoid had promised an adaptation of video games true to its regressive aspect, offering the viewer what previous versions could never come close to, namely the famous ultra-graphic kills of the franchise: fatalities. But beyond making a gory uninhibited proposal, the filmmaker has visibly taken his subject seriously, displaying a note of noble intention. With its cast of true martial artists, reduced use of CGIs, and fluid, airy staging, Mortal Kombat looks like it taps into some edgy Asian action cinema, which we don’t mind. . The fatalities are as foul as you could hope … but it’s really the fight scenes that stand out from the rest. The amount of work that is directed in the choreographies and stunts is more than impressive. You can see that a bunch of martial artists are really doing these fights on screen, rather than dealing with quick editing or digital dubs. And that, well damn it feels good …
It’s definitely not a drama around nuanced characters, instead you get ninja-blooded boxers, Green Berets with robotic arms that beat up invisible lizards and flying demons for a bloody, flaschy reunion. . When not in a fight, the characters bicker and spit out pseudo-spiritual expressions until they have to prepare for the next fight. Mortal Kombat is not for the fancy palate, but for those who know what to expect, get over here! Special mention to the roles of Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Kang, Blade, and Kung-Lao, excellent! Uhhh, the final duel is just insane, watch out for peepers … I have played this fight hundreds of times via games on different consoles for ages …
However, we must note some faults, still recurring … The dialogues, a few unnecessary lengths, and an unbearable Kano, even if devastating! The Goro part, although bloody, is a bit boring. As for the syno, well it’s always the same thing, basic … But it’s Mortal Kombat, nothing more, nothing less … Except that the film becomes, finally, a respectful tribute to the game.
For a long time I didn’t have too much money so to play cheaply I got interested in emulation (not good) and I discovered a lot of games from the 90s. With the announcement on March 10 of the tribute of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: turtle in time” with the game “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Sredder’s Revenge” by Dot Emu, I rethought the remake of “Panzer Dragoon” by a Polish studio, of “Street of Rage 4” and of “Monster boy Dragon’s Trap” by Lizard Cube (French studio) as well as the new opus “Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom” made by Game Atelier (another French studio), “Sonic Mania” by Head Cannon and PagodaWest Games (based in Los Angeles) …
Wouldn’t Western studios be better today than Japanese studios at making Japanese games?
How many Japanese licenses are sitting in boxes when Western fans are ready to buy sequels or remakes?
Breath of Fire
It’s as if the Japanese studios were unable to quantify the economic stakes of their catalog. Westerners have to go to Sega to make a new Alex Kid “Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX”.
The only ones that really have a heritage side to come to mind are Square Enix and Nintendo, which are the only ones to regularly offer remakes or sequels. I won’t quote Capcom, because they can make you the same Resident Evil 10 times, but other licenses like Megaman are completely forgotten when it was one of their far series. We arrive at 20 years of Megaman XD, one of the best-selling episodes on GBA and nothing planned.
Many Japanese companies do not manage to capitalize on their catalog because, either those who took care of these licenses had promotions, changed boxes or disappeared … and they do not ask themselves the question of saying :
“Wouldn’t people be happy to find this character again?”
Yet they have the numbers. Namco is well aware that Pac Man is very well known in the US just as Bandai-Namco knows they sell more Dragon Ball figures today there than in Japan. So why only a few licenses like Mario, Dragon Ball, Final Fantasy and Resident Evil benefit from this resurrection?
Konami was surprised by the sales of Bomberman on Switch but it has been years, 10/15 years that the West has been asking for a new one!
One of the best-known Smash Bros jokes is that Nintendo treats Pac Man, Megaman, Sonic and Solid Snake better than their own publishers and sadly that’s true.
There is a real wealth management problem in Japan.
Maybe it is because they have a different way of thinking. For example when they do exhibitions on manga, what matters mainly is the final work, the manga and not the artist or the preparatory drawings. In the West we hold a lot more or original boards and the research work of the creator of the comics which can sell very expensive at auction.
After Japan is a country regularly ravaged by earthquakes, where “everything” is regularly destroyed and to be rebuilt. Could their non-attachment come from there?
It can also come from Buddhism which is an important part of the foundations of Japanese culture. In its precepts it is said that nothing is eternal, that all is vain and that the beauty of things rests on their fleeting side. Yet today, thanks to social media, the Japanese artists who made the pop culture of the 80s 90s realize the attachment there was for their works outside of Japan.
Kinu Nishimura, Illustrator who worked at Capcom alongside Akiman on a little known little series called Street Fighter, is now rediscovering some of her drawings thanks to Western enthusiasts who bought lots of old magazines and posted on their networks scans of illustrations including herself and Capcom had no more originals.
I don’t know if that will ever change there but in any case for me the return of thoses old licenses, whether thanks to a remake or a sequel, still enchants me.
Yesterday Nintendo, without warning, announced a new Paper Mario for July 17! I really liked the Paper Mario of the Game Cube and a little less the following episodes but what I saw in the trailer made me want to play it.
I always liked everything that was papercraft, so origami makes my heart beat! (I have to find how to make the little Peach !!!)
The thing that shocked me the most was that for the first time in the series, we would be in an open world with the presence of several cities, and the presence of vehicles suggests that this would be vast. And then there are dungeons !!! My heart is pounding so hard!
The end of the trailer killed me! A Metroid teasing. I discovered the series with the remake of the second opus on 3ds and since then I’m a fan! I did all the episodes on pc with emulation, apart Metroid Prime 3 and there I am, too hyped up. (if I could sew, I would love to cosplay Zero Suit Samus XD)
I doubt that we see Metroid Prime 4 anytime soon since its development had been rebooted not that long ago, but maybe we will soon have a release of Metroid prime trilogy on Switch to wait? *Fingers crossed*
I had to play video games once or twice before, I think I remember a game of Guitar Hero and Mario Party but it was very rare. It was mostly daddy and my brother who monopolized the console. The moment I became a gamer was after my accident.
When I left the hospital, following the loss of my hearing and that of my mother, I fell into depression (anorexia, bulimia, black idea …). So I was interned in a “rest home” to help me. The days were long and monotonous. After a few days, Papa brought me a Nintendo DS with 3 games, which made my days in this sinister place: “Mario & Luigi: bowser’s inside story”, “Mario Kart”, but the one on which I spending the most time during my stay was:
Final Fantasy Tactics A2:
It’s a Tactics Rpg, a turn-based game that is very similar to a board game. I think that’s what hooked me at first, then it was the colorful and enchanting world that gave me a lot more. My playing time was regulated by the medical staff, the fact that the game is composed of multiple small level was very practical. 🥰 I just had time to finish it before going home. A game that I loved, although I have to admit that the story is a little silly, but I think that at the moment I did it, it was exactly what I needed to empty my head.
Since then, I have been transformed into a geek, I developed a particular taste for Nintendo’s portable consoles and I became eager to learn more about video games in general.