Arcade Bowling Review

One of the great things about going to an arcade was the Skee-Ball that allow you to get tickets to get the “high quality” toys that were available behind the ticket counter. Now Arcade Bowling does not give you tickets for each round of the game you play, but it does give you the opportunity to play this old classic from the convenience of your iPhone/iPod Touch.

There are two modes of play, classic and progressive. In classic mode, you are given 9 balls to fling up toward the holes to score points. Progressive mode is similar to classic but you need to keep improving your previous round’s score by at least 20 points to continue playing.

The premise for the game is very simple. You are given a ball which you need to roll up an alley and shoot in a series of holes. Touching the screen near the bottom allows you to bring up a ball, and then you can move the ball to left and right based to help aim the shot. You then pick your speed and hope you get the ball in a hole. To further influence the ball, you can tilt the screen in any direction to change how the ball with land. Based on firsthand experience, I would recommend not playing the game on a bumpy road as it will throw you off during gameplay.

Each hole has a different point value assigned to it ranging from 10 to 100 with a minimum of always getting at least 10 points for each ball. If one of the holes is flashing, its value increased 5 times the points indicated for that hole. This was a great asset in the progressive mode of the game as you could obtain the score for a round by simply hitting a flashing 100 point hole. Your high scores are tracked on your iPhone/iPod Touch, but there’s no way to see how you compare against other players of the game around the world. Hopefully this is a feature they will consider in the future.

Being a fairly simple game, the graphics were plain but well done with clean art for the balls and the alley. It works for a game like this and gives it a more arcade feel to it instead of some flashy, whizzbang thing.

Music and sounds are not extensive but do add some enjoyment to the game. I wish the music was a bit more jazzy as it did not seem to have the same level of pep that I felt in Arcade Basketball, another game by Skyworks Interactive. The sounds of balls rolling up the alley were dead on with the “real life” version.

Even though the game took me a moment to start enjoying, once you get into Arcade Bowling, you will have trouble putting it down. Skyworks Interactive has done it again by bringing yet another arcade classic to the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Resistance 3 Insomniac Review

To be honest this is the first Resistance game that I played so I cannot compare it to the first two. Even though you were an epic hero in the first two Resistance games the Chimeran nation have still taken over the planet. In the first two episodes you played the character Nathan Hale. In Resistance 3 you play the character Joseph Capelli. It is a very personal story where a very average Joe is on suicide mission to enter the Chimeran territory to save his friends and family.

Outstanding things that I really liked is that on each level the art and graphic design reflects the personal story. This makes the game one of the best that I have ever ever played. The graphic design and maps are superb in a game telling an epic story. There is often the feeling of grandeur in the story similar to God of War III as the cut scenes play and also when you need to defeat the bosses. The level of quality of these movie scenes are similar to an animated movie released by Hollywood. Also the personal story combined with the epic world and combat as you defeat the Chimera provide for one hell of a gaming experience.

The game is extremely dark. It is a combination of a first person shooter game and an adventure game. The single campaign will take you about 10 hours to complete. The voice overs, acting and sound effects are extraodinary. I think that these are some of the best that I have ever seen on the PS3. The plot is very engaging and you always understand what you need to do. There are many different types of enemies in Resistance 3 and I think that this added immensely to the gameplay. Also you get to choose a wide variety of guns. Each gun is suited for a different type of enemy. You get the primary weapon and the secondary weapon. There are also upgrades that you collect and you also get to collect different types of grenades that you can fire at your opponents. I think choosing from the wide variety of magnificent guns and using them combine with the wide variety of enemies makes this one of the most entertaining games that I have ever played.

The online play is just as much fun. Insomniac have reduced the 64 player games to 64 to better suit the maps and the graphic and art design of the game. There is a wide variety. You can play co-operative with a friend using split screen mode or with an online player. There is a wide variety of online games that you can choose from eg. death match, team death match and capture the flag to name a few. You will definitely find a match that you will find entertaining. If there is one criticism that I can level at the game is that Sony have introduced an online pass similar to Electronic Arts. You get to register using the online pass once and if you do decide to share the game or trade it in then the new owner will need to purchase a new online pass from Sony. I never really liked this feature from EA games and Sony have decided to follow this strategy with the new games that they release.

I got the special edition which incleds the following extra content: vinyl effect blu-ray disc, multiplayer booster, SRPA black ops skin, infected Nathan Hale skin, “Sentinel” multiplayer title and “air fuel grenade”. In conclusion this is one of the best PS3 titles that I have ever played and you should get it.

Sony offline entertainment

SOE is now offering players 30 free days of game time to the title of their choice.  Now, I have read some people who think this is more than enough, because what else can SOE do ?  They are the victims here !

Well yes, they were indeed the victims of a crime per se.  But they aren’t the true victims in this situation.  That dreaded title falls onto the people who may endure some painful hardship in the days/weeks/months to come.

The end result of this whole debacle is still not clear, as I said before.

Rift : No, it’s not the “Jesus” game

1.  Rift is a finished product

Why yes, Rift is indeed a polished and well-made MMO.  I have pointed this out several times and have seen many others do the same.  Trion Worlds has managed to finally give us an MMO that doesn’t suck.  But we are missing the point here.  We are congratulating Trion for making an MMO that isn’t littered with problems.  Which is because companies like Mythic and Funcom gave us two duds that were wrecked with issues from beta and on to this very day.  But should we really be so eager to heap endless compliments onto a company for finally doing what most MMO developers should do in the first place…release stable, unbuggy games?

How have we let our expectations become so diluted ?  Well, it’s because we are so used to receiving the same crap shoveled out again, that we are more than prepared to kiss the feet of anyone who can release an MMO that doesn’t possess the stench of decay at the very moment it’s birthed into the world.  So is the problem here really the MMO community ?  Is that who is truly at fault for making us all so screwed up in how we assess new MMOs ?  Or is the fault to be laid at the feet of developers who continue to release unfinished, problem-strewn games ?

2.  There’s an endgame

Why yes, Rift does have an endgame and things to work for, which completely differentiates it from…oh wait.  Yes, I am happy as anyone to see that Trion has released an MMO that has some endgame content from the get-go.  But that makes it special how?  I have played a metric ton of MMOs in my time, with Lotro, EQ 2, and WoW being among the most predominant.  And all of those MMOs currently have endgames and many different goals to work towards.  It doesn’t matter if they had a proper endgame at launch, because that is the somewhat unfair reality that new MMOs face.  Freshly launched MMOs have to compare to current games after they have already received a bevy of fixes and updates over the years.

So just because Rift offers me more loot to pursue does not make it special, as I can find that almost anywhere right now.  I can raid in plenty of places, folks, it’ not a revolutionary concept anymore.  But I do applaud Trion for releasing a finished game, as I said before.  But how long are we going to pat them on the back for doing what should be the norm anyway, and instead, point out how they are simply copying what has been done before them without really pushing the genre forward as some of their marketing material claims.  (I will touch on this more later)

3.  The game isn’t buggy

Good heavens, haven’t we already made this point ?  Does Rift have nothing else to offer me other than it isn’t a terrible game ?  Is there really where this debate has gone ?  It’s like when Valve keeps putting blocks and see-saws in Half Life 2 to demonstrate the fact that they made a physics engine.  I’m thrilled that they’ve managed to make a good physics engine, but there are only so many times they can keep showing me how I can throw blocks before I start to desire something more out of it.  (they do provide that by the way, just making a basic point)

So Rift is not buggy.  Well done Trion !  But what else have you got to offer ?  Let us see.

the telara saga

ust wanted to pop in real quick and give a shout out to The Gaiscioch Family, a wonderful guild currently found on Rift’s Faeblight server.  They will soon be holding an epic, 22 week event that begins on March 8th and will run all the way to August 9th.

So if you’re on Faeblight and enjoy a good time, then I suggest you treat yourself to this as soon as it gets going!  Having played with Gaiscioch back in WAR and greatly enjoying their Battle for the Badlands series of events, I can promise a joyous time to be had by all.  :)

Here is a copy of the forum post detailing how this is all going to work in case any of you missed it.

Blizzard – You are both ingenious and insane

It really is difficult enough to defend WoW against the hatred and bile that some people spew its way…but then Blizzard goes and does something like this and makes it all the more difficult for me.  Throw me a bone, folks!!!  So now that you are selling in-game items for half the price of an expansion pack, could I possibly get you to throw in a functional Gnomish Rocket Launcher that shoots Murloc babies?  I’m just saying…it would be freakin’ awesome.  :)

Still, I don’t like the idea of this money going to Bobby Kotick so he can stuff his paper towel rolls with more wads of cash.  If you are wondering who Bobby Kotick is, he is the head of Activision (owners of Blizzard), who recently said that his primary goal is to “Take all the fun out of making video games, to keep people focused on the great depression.”  Here is an appropriate photograph.