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Posts tagged “Rogue

Top 10 – Kleptomaniacs

GeekOut Top 10s

A kleptomaniac is someone who can’t help themselves, but to steal. Nevermind stealing your heart, these individuals will just take what they see. Really, it doesn’t matter to them – they know they need it, no matter what it is. They just have to have it. Well then, we’re going to have to tread carefully and lock all of our valuables away. Indeed, we’d better nail this Top 10 down, as this week we’re keeping an eye out for our Top 10 Kleptomaniacs.

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Heavy Bullets – Review

Heavy Bullets

Heavy Bullets is not exactly a new game. Originally released in 2014, it was played by quite a few streamers at the time of launch. I remember buying it during yet another sale, after it had been sitting on my wish list for a while and I can honestly say that I still think it’s worth every penny of it’s retail price (£6.99 on Steam£7.49 on Humble Bundle).

Overview

You play a security program that has been sent in to restore order to a mainframe that has gone haywire. To do so you are equipped with a gun that only contains 6 bullets in some sort of Dirty Harry style gun. You must hold onto these six bullets as well as aim to pick up coins throughout the ten levels in order to buy some upgrades.
Welcome to Hell?

Looks

Heavy Bullets does not push the boundaries in aesthetics, but I really like the way it looks. It has a very distinct neon colour palette and is visually lucid and bright; the game nips along which is no surprise but it feels right at home at this speed. You can spot one of the bank or shop ATM’s immediately and the maps even randomly generate secrets, which I think is a pretty cool touch. I really love the way the graphics flicker whenever you get hit, along with the intentional  visual glitches when you are on your last life, making the whole thing feel more tense.Imp rush

The Game

It’s essentially a stripped down 3D-first person shooter, but there is something distinctly ominous about it. The music and general sound design certainly adds a lot to the atmosphere. In game it goes awfully quiet but as you roam around you get some very distinctive audible clues. The imps make a cute little chirping sound which you soon learn to be afraid of, as they launch themselves at you with great intensity. The game is rogue-like and so the enemies and the levels are randomised, which means that you have no idea what is around the corner. You may remember that I said that One More Dungeon really suffered from this, but for some reason it works in Heavy Bullets. There’s something about the smoothness of the game, along with the way it flows. I hate to put it down to feel but when you have played a fair few 3D shooters you begin to get a feel for which one’s work and which ones don’t.

Having a limited amount of ammo really adds to the atmosphere. I’m not sure how other people play it, but I end up paranoid reloading at every opportunity that I can. The first few enemies you meet are fairly easy, some worm like beasties that hide in the bushes which can sometimes be difficult to see, followed by some imps that run at you when they see you, which for me cause an instant amount of panic and tension. Further on you meet up with sentry guns that can only be killed if you shoot their battery. There are even flying enemies in the game. You can improve your chances of survival in further rounds by saving money in the bank, so the next time you play through you can dip into your account to help you out.

The money is generous enough, you don’t have to play 1000 games in order to afford one of the items. The shops can provide you with more health or upgrades to increase the radius of coin and bullet pickup, a discount in the shop and so on. The Steam community have put together a great little item guide so go have a look at them so you know what to buy from the ATM’s. Also a little thing I didn’t know is that you can blow up the ATM which gets you some extra cash. In theory you could do this early on to get extra cash and save up the money to make a proper attempt at the 10 levels.Pretty colours

It all comes down to the bullets though, they look and feel heavy when you fire them. When they hit something they lay on the floor and bounce their plump little form on the floor enticing you to pick them back up. Even when you reload them they make a satisfying thunk when re-entering the chamber. Upon reaching the end of a level, apart from me letting out a small joyous ‘whoop’, you’re not rewarded just yet. After all, you have a job to do here and need to get on with it. If and when you finish all 10 levels you are rewarded with $5,000 of in-game cash ready to spend to make your next attempt a lot easier, no doubt.

Verdict

I already said at the top of the review that I think Heavy Bullets is well worth the money. Its slick feel takes me back to early days of Quake which makes it pure simple 3D-shooter fun. In a recent sale I saw it on offer for a mere £2 which is a total bargain. The soundtrack is well worth the extra money although trying to use Steam to play it filled me with rage, but this is more of a problem I have with Steam rather than the game. Unlike some rogue based games, Heavy Bullet punishes you in the right places and the right way, making you, the player, determined to improve your skill and ability to defeat those damn worms. In my opinion… just buy it already!

Can you see the worm

Can you see the worm

Medibay ATM Bank ATM

Have you played Heavy Bullets? Do you also feel it’s a great example of a 3D shooter? Have you managed to finish it (I haven’t!). Give us all of your comments below or contact us in one of the many other forms of Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Board Game Review: Welcome to the Dungeon

Welcome to the Dungeon logo

Co-operative to a point, Welcome to the Dungeon is a game about deceit and peril for one unlucky adventurer. But everyone who plays this game is the same hero, as you all vie to psyche one another out and enter the Dungeon. Timlah investigates one of the most recent additions to our collection of games.

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Multiclassing & Story

There are frequently benefits to multiclassing your characters, giving your fighter a level of rogue or barbarian can really up his damage output, or perhaps a little paladin or cleric can make him a greater utility to the group. Giving your monk a few sorcerer spells can really change the way she plays in combat without compromising her usefulness, or perhaps some ranger to turn her into a serious close-range menace.

But why? Surely you’re not just chasing numbers and making a more effective combat-unit, or chasing some build that you found on a forum to break the game. Your character shouldn’t just be a collection of stats on a piece of paper because that ceases to be role-playing, but there’s no need to avoid multiclassing because it doesn’t fit, and if it works in your story then you should absolutely add a level of a class that makes no sense. Like bard…

I’m kidding, bards are fine. (more…)


Blogversation – Chatty protagonists

Blog-versation logo

A protagonist can go one of two ways really in terms of extremes. Last week, Joel spoke about the silent protagonist which is common place in Role Playing Game’s and First Person Shooters. Today I want to talk about the exact opposite to the silent protagonist: The chatty protagonist.

Done correctly, a chatty protagonist can make your game much more exciting. In video gaming, there’s a whole bunch of silent protagonists but we’ve completely ignored the chatty protagonist: Characters such as one of my all time favourite video game characters, Zidane Tribal. This is a character that chats when spoken to, giving him much more depth. I feel that the purpose of good dialogue is to make characters more likeable, relate-able and above all memorable.

Zidane Tribal – Main Character of Final Fantasy IX

He talks a lot, but not too much. Just right, if you ask me.

But then we go down the extremes and some characters talk for reasons you just can’t comprehend. Take, for example, the humble people of Oblivion.

They mean well but they won’t shut up. Really, I don’t need to know about your adventures, your home life, your missing children or anything. You’re impressing no one and you’re actually slightly breaking my feeling for the game.

Sometimes, it works really well, but like in the above video you can see that it doesn’t always work. In fact, in this case we see Foul Fagus go from being a beggar with a voice befitting his character, to a well spoken gentleman. Okay, that’s just broken, but there’s a reason why we don’t need so much complexity all the time. The human condition is complex, but probably nothing nearly as complex what they accidentally made.

But then sometimes, we get a character that talks so much and says the same things over and over again. I could once more go back to Oblivion even though I truly love the game. But instead, let’s find another source to point the finger at.

No, you blow it out yer…

Yes Duke Nukem is a character that spouts the same repetitive catchphrases constantly. It’s a constant reminder of the limitations of technology. You can’t have something too fluid, ultimately: Something is looping. Be it a loop of: if (alienx=null) then { say “eat bubblegum.” else Duke=”all outta gum” }. Okay, that’s a dreadful piece of pseudo-code, but you get the point.

There’s a point where the sound waves loop and you just think: Huh, okay. A bit weird you’d say that again. For the record except Duke Nukem Forever, I’ve not played a Duke Nukem game (merely seen videos) and I’m not trashing the games themselves. As far as I can see, they appear to be great fun! But with this being said, there’s still that constant reminder: You’re in a video game. There’s technology to be taken into account. Are you ready to have technology limit the creativity of the character?

This is why I prefer RPGs myself. A characters depth isn’t by its catchy battlephrases. Instead, it’s an invested interest in the character throughout. They tell you a story, they get involved in the story and you are that protagonist.

Aw thank you for making this real, ThinkGeek.

But don’t be fooled by the fact I’ve only spoken about video game characters: This can happen with protagonist of traditional games too.

It’s usually just some players in particular, when they want to take centre stage. When this happens, they come up with all sorts of elaborate plans and their characters are looked up to by the other players. Or, more likely: It breaks the flow of the game drastically. It can be brilliant when a player decides to step to the mark and become the hero he or she should be, but at the same time it can be to the behest of the rest of the group.

An instance I have of this is when I was playing as a sort of “knight” character. He was basically just a standard warrior, but he was honourable and as such he would say things like “To arms, my noble companions!” Simple, showed how he was a simple character and everything I did with him was for the point of: This is him. Take note then that one of my fellow companions was a rogue.

Yeah, you’re fooling no one, rogue. That dragon’s got more sharp edges than that little poky sword of yours.

Rogues are known to stand back and be stealthy. They’re supposed to deliver damage before anyone knows they’ve done it. Pray tell then: Why did this rogue decide to announce everything he was going to do in game to all of the other characters? “I’m going to go behind the enemy and flank him. You, Sir Elbert, keep him distracted from the front while I go around behind him to sink my blade deep into its skull.” Our DM found it equally as asinine as I did, so the DM decided that often: The enemy heard the conspiracy! Often, Sir Elbert and the mage were able to take out whatever they were fighting before the rogues plans had finished…

Perhaps this was an incredibly good bit of character development however? See, the best thing here was that our DM was able to teach this rogue how to be a rogue without telling him what he was doing wrong. The rogue slowly figured out: Not everything had to be explained. Not everything had to be told to the whole team. My character, Sir Elbert, announced his intentions because he was an in your face, sword and shield knight. He was the “tank”, as it were. He had to make enemies feel inferior and threatened yet his team mates safe and in control.

This rogue needed to make his enemies unaware of his presence. It couldn’t be done while he blathered on about his plans. Remember then: a chatty protagonist is the key in character and even story advancement. But sometimes, they really should just shut up.

What do you all think of chatty protagonists? Do they help to involve you in a game? Do you have any examples of chatty protagonists in either video games or traditional gaming? Until the next piece in our blogversation; take care all!