Saturday, 31 October 2009

Team Fortress 2 - Halloween Special Continues

Yeah, the special continues and you can buy it for US$2.50 again until 2nd November. Check it out here. It's good multiplayer FPS fun so I certainly recommend it as a gift to FPS fans.

Tribes 1 and 2: Released to and Supported by the Community

To promote Tribes Vengeance back in 2004, Tribes 1 and 2 were released for free along with CD keys. CD key distribution eventually stopped and although the games were still freeware and playable over LAN, you couldn't play over the Internet with other players.

The Tribes official servers were shut down last year and the community has stepped in over the last year or so. You can now get setup and play Tribes 1 and 2 here and here respectively. I'm pretty sure Tribes 2 works not so sure about Tribes 1 unfortunately.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Mighty Ape Labour Weekend Sale

Mighty Ape is having a Labour Weekend Sale.

There are plenty of good choices for console or PC. Here are my recommended purchases for those on a small budget like myself:
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Game of the Year Edition (includes the original The Longest Journey and the soundtrack of Dream fall). Highly recommended! - $16.99
Civilization III Complete (all expansion packs) Highly Recommended! - $14.99
Sid Meier's Pirates - Highly Recommended! - $14.99
Titan's Quest Gold Edition - $14.99
Still Life - $14.99
Gothic Universe (Gothic 1-3) - $24.99

I really must stress that you should get Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Game of the Year Edition. Seriously if you haven't bought the original or the sequel, now is the time! The links use my referral code in case you're wondering.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, the game which promises galactic exploration in 15 minutes or less is now freeware! Get it here. Now that it's free, there's really no reason not to get this game.

What do I think of it? It's definitely fun and I spent the whole afternoon after I downloaded it playing it. The game deliveres in its promise of 15-20 minutes of fun gameplay. The objective is quite simple, explore the universe in your spaceship and then return home in the alloted time alive. You will then get a score based on how much of the universe you explored, how many alien races you met and what you have when you return.

However after playing it for about 6 hours, I realised to my great dismay that I had discovered and experienced nearly all the game features; something which I confirmed when I checked online with other websites. In randomly generated games like this, part of the fun is discovering new aspects of the game. SAIS really needs more variety in events, ship choices and aliens.When contrasted to a free dungeon crawl like Stone Soup, the lack of long term replayability makes it all the more disappointing. In Stone Soup, there are combinations of races and classes to choose from and a fairly large variety of creatures and places in the dungeon giving a large replay value. You're constantly discovering some new aspect of the game or have the option of choosing a different race and class which alters how you play the game.

The core gameplay is quite solid and definitely fun but I feel SAIS doesn't quite cross that threshold and give you bang for your buck in the area of replayability at the time of release when it was still a commercial game. Fortunately, there are several very good mods which bring SAIS up to scratch and provide a much more varied experience. But a game company shouldn't be relying on its community for such content.

There are several other minor gripes about the game:

  • There's too much reliance on the trader to give you good items. As I understand from reading another review and my own experience, the trader is always in a star system adjacent to the starting star system. To counter this, they really should have just given you a wider choice of ships and technology at the beginning of the game so you can customise your ship to survive. Indeed one of the mods acknowledges this issue and does just that.
  • I don't understand why the ship only travels in a straight line and you can't have a ship plot around certain obstacles like black holes and nebulaes which greatly slow down your progress.
  • Sometimes you start off in a nebulae which is very aggravating as nebulas really slow your ship down.
  • There is no individual score telling you how much your items are worth at the end of the game which would really have helped in determining what items I should keep from the trader.
  • The gun descriptions could have been more helpful in giving a clue as to how effective they are against certain ships or shields. For some reason the gun descriptions for the mid-range guns are particularly cryptic. This doesn't apply to other items such as the missles because the game tells you how many megatons the warhead delivers making choices fairly easy. As such I'm curious as why they made it so difficult for mid-range guns.
I suspect many of these issues were fixed in Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space but I haven't played it yet. Anyway, SAIS is now free and a small download and it will keep you occupied for an afternoon. So get it anyway!

World of Goo Sale Extended

Seriously, if you haven't paid the 2 New Zealand cents to get World of Goo get it now! The sale continues until 25th of October!

World of Goo Sale on now!

World of Goo's birthday sale is currently on and you can get World of Goo for as much as you like, 1 cent or $20 or whatever but the offer is only valid until the 19th of October. Highly recommended by everyone in the gaming world. Definitely worth the 2 New Zealand cents I paid...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Installing Lode Runner Online: Mad Monks' Revenge

I was thinking of playing Lode Runner Online which is freely available at the developer's personal webpage. However, I've been having issues installing it. The game claims to be "Unable to find setup.exe or libraries" or something similar whenever I ran the setup.exe. Normally I don't post technical advice on games however I couldn't really find any other place posting this advice so here's my tip for solving this.

Once you've extracted the files, you should see the C:\lro_install with the subdirectory MMR containing the files. Try copying the files from MMR out into the c:\lro_install directory and then renaming the directory as C:\lro instead. In other words, all the main files should be under C:\lro . For some reason this fixes the problem and you'll be able to run the installation program via setup.exe . You may have to run it in Windows 95 Compataibility mode.

When it comes to the installation directory, don't change the defaults and ignore the systems test. You should be able to play Lode Runner Online, again you might have to run in Windows 95 compatibility mode.

By the way, I notice a number of other older games where this trick might work so give it try.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Engima Rising Tide for Free

Enigma: Rising Tide is a well-received naval simulator that has now been released for free by the developers as reported by Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The iso which can be downloaded here. It's the Gold version of the game which lacks a number of minor options and doesn't have a soundtrack but otherwise is the same as the retail version. The developer who released it has stated that they'll get around to updating it to the retail version eventually.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

The Incredible Machine Mega Pack

GOG has just released The Incredible Machine mega pack including almost all the incredible machine games for only US $9.99 Not a bad bargain if you're American. For us in New Zealand it's an okay price (around NZ$20) but I would personally wait for the price to drop or buy a slightly more modern game at GOG.

Still its good to see TIM back in action!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Y's Online

The Y's series in Japan has been going strong since the 1980's and one of the aspects that made it famous is its very memorable music. The soundtrack for Y's Online, the new MMO of the Y's series, has just been released for free as covered by Massively.

Go check out the free OST here!

Update: Unfortunately, one of the tracks "Blood on my hands" seems to be missing any music and is completely silent from the single downloads and the OST compilation even though you can download it. Hopefully they'll correct it shortly.