Expressed great interest in Vampire the Masquerade especially when it comes to Malkavians. And after much brainstorming was done on Reddit and with a friend on mine on Steam named Kenshiro3, it's time I provide the final draft. I'd probably work on the character sheet later.
Damion Isaac Shrieve (aka Shriek) was born with an extremely acute sense of hearing that it annoyed him greatly to the point where he willed himself to be deaf which calms him down immensely. Though he can still articulate himself just fine when speaking but when he is on the receiving end of a conversation, he'd rely on lip-reading. He had a very promising career as a pianist and was practically given the royal treatment, despite his condition, with most of his recitals being well-received. Which leads us to how his Embrace: one night when leaving from a recital, the limousine where he was riding on crashed, killing his driver and leaving him to be seriously injured. As his vision faded into darkness, he caught a fair glimpse of the person who crashed into them...
As he awoke from his coma, he appeared to be in an apartment fashioned like a makeshift clinic and he started to hear the voices and noises that irritated him badly. He tried to block out the noise himself but it did not work. In fact, the room he was in doesn't seem to attract a lot of noise to begin with, and the more he tries to block them out, the louder the noises seem to be, literally causing him to get severe migraine. However, the noises have subsided after hearing what was the most beautiful voice he has ever heard. He looked and saw the source of that voice, a woman dressed like a messed-up nurse with a cheap looking I.D. tag that says: Regina. She introduced herself to Shrieve and told him that she is a very big fan of his performances as a pianist. In addition, she revealed to him that she was a vampire, a Malkavian, and his sire. Of course, he had trouble taking it all in, considering how cock-and-bull that was. After showing off a bit of evidence to him (basically just showing his face in a mirror revealing that his canines have become longer and sharper), he freaked out even more and took a while before it all sank in. Shortly afterward, she told him her story. Like she mentioned before, she was a very huge fan of his piano-playing as she said that "listening to him played opened up her heart in a way that no other music ever could" and at one point, wanted to take a peek into his mind, revealing the severe flaws that he was trying to hide. She also told him that the reason that he was pampered so greatly was because he had great potential to be a Toreador, another vampire clan that is supposed to be all about the arts and stuff. Upon knowing that he had such flaws, she decided that he doesn't deserve to be a Toreador but a Malkavian instead, hence she got to him before the Toreadors. Thus, he realized that it was she who was responsible for the accident. Since then, he was schooled by her in the vampire and, in her eyes, the Malkavian way of life. Overtime, he and Regina developed a very mutual relationship: Shriek needed the girl because her voice was able to sooth and tame the voices in his head now that he is a vampire and she needed him because his music opened her heart (hell, she even gave him the pet name Shriek due to his screams and wails being so loud that it would make even fabled banshees annoyed) She even gave Shriek a Walkman with a pair of large headsets with a single tape playing her voice speaking random sentences which can help in giving him the comfort he needs in case the girl was away.
However, on one fateful night, the Toreador stormed by the apartment, and slaughtered the Malkavian girl in front of him, which gave him a very strong urge to take them all down but he knew he couldn't as it would violate the laws the Camarilla has set. The reason why she was killed in the first place is because she sired him without going through the Prince about it to begin with, whereas the Toreador had it all planned out early on, and it was because of such a technicality that Shriek was spared Final Death. Since that time, he has cursed those Toreador for putting down the sire that he considers his lover and his salvation. Now, all that is left of him is the Walkman with her voice to keep him sane. But it was there that he made a vow, to find a way to give those Toreador bastards their just desserts, one way or the other.
Hello g1s. To those who do not know me very well, allow me to introduce myself. My name is NemesisTrestkon (formerly called TheNemesis274 during the v3 days).
I used to blog a bit onto the site but with the amount of video games I own nowadays, plus my job demanding a bit more of my time than I would have liked, I haven't gotten around to blogging anything nor doing my duties as a moderator for the site. In fact, I have gotten out of touch with Screwattack over the past several months now, one of the reasons involves the old site being very tedious to work with when making a simple blog or even customizing profiles. Upon checking out the new look of the site, I have to say I am very very pleased in terms of how it functions smoothly. From changing my profile details right down to the site design itself, me saying that I am happy about this change is quite the understatement.
Now that I have posted here, here's to hoping I can establish new friendships with the new faces here and strengthen old friendships with the ones I have interacted with in the past (Darkseid, Kenshiro3, Woodyman, etc.)
Oh, and hello once again, everyone. Time to fiddle around with this site's functions and see what else I can do with it.
According to the recent blog post from Brian Fargo at InXile's tumblr page, after several updates have been integrated, the game is finally ready to see a full-fledged release by the end of August. If you want to pre-order your copy and play in its beta stages, the Steam version is still available for 60 dollars. If you just want to pre-order the game for a lesser price, then you can always just buy the DRM-free version on Wastelands' website for only 30 dollars.
The wait is at hand, ladies and gentlemen. Prepare to have your minds explode like blood sausages! In the meantime, here's a first impressions video to give you a general idea on what to expect in this game.
Oh, and there's a new update for the game as well. You wanna get the details? Head over to their tumblr. I just hope they optimized the Radio Tower, goddamit.
I think it's high time to have your voices heard on how we can improve the forums of our site. Which is why Fox has provided a survey for you to fill out. All you need to do is to answer the survey below and send it over to Fox's profile as shown on the TL;DR section above. Your voice matters here so please be as detailed as you can.
How long have you been a part of the Screwattack forums?
How did you find out about the Screwattack forums?
Why did you become a member of the forums?
How frequently do you read the forums?
How frequently do you post?
How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the forums?
5) Very satisfied
4) Somewhat satisfied
2) Somewhat dissatisfied
1) Very dissatisfied
How likely is it that you would recommend the forums to a friend/colleague?
5) Very likely
4) Somewhat Likely
2) Somewhat Unlikely
1) Very Unlikely
Please rank each part of the forums in order of imporantance to you:
Which other parts of the site do you use? (Blogs, Comments, Streams, etc)
What social media do you use? (Facebook, twitter, etc)
When you hear our Screwattack Forums, what main idea comes to mind (something we stand for)?
What do we do that makes us unique from other forums?
What is our forum's specialty?
What do you like best about the forums?
What do you like least about the forums?
Do you have any suggestions for improving our forums?
Would you be interested in providing content for the forums?
Are there any cool things from other forums that we can barrow and/or steal?
Is there an unaddressed need that we should focus on? If Yes, what is it?
James/Ix: He was convinced by Caid to join because it would be in his best interest. Caid knows a secret code phrase to put him into a shut down state.
Chris/Yreal: Ix is immune to your esoteries, unless that he allows himself to be affected.
Nick/Suiko: Velenziel used to be a follower of yours but you now think of him or her as a peer
Ted/Caid: Got involved because there is reward involved, and he needs the money to travel North. Suiko seems to have a terrible relationship with machines—or at least the machines that Caid communicates with. If they are next to a machine that Caid interacts with in a friendly manner, that machine is treated in all ways as being one level lower than normal (unless doing so benefits either PC, in which case the level does not change).
Cameron/Zero: You have known Yreal for a while, and he helped you gain control of your phase states.
Lester/Dunkelzahn: You have found that Caid is particularly tuned into your mental powers. While you’re within short range of him, the two of you are always in telepathic contact, and he is never harmed by your Psychic Bursts.
Numenera: Just remember, you’re using the can opener of a 30-foot tall superhuman from 500 million years ago to fight the hyper-evolved killer ancestor of his pet hamster over a can of half-a-billion-year-old WD-40 that you intend to drink. Try to keep things in perspective.
Session 1 - “Just a Wink and a Smile” as chronicled by Ted
Everyone enters the town of Shallamas from different gates - Felix entering through the fabled “East Gate.” Caid and Ix struggle amongst the crowds, being attacked by some manner of psychic cart. The party arrives at their classy/ghetto pimped out employer’s place of business, signs an ambiguous ledger, then gets “wink and smile”d through time and space by a Vorlon from Babylon 5. After a sKensation not entirely dissimilar to dying, followed by a sensation not entirely dissimilar to being reborn, they discover themselves in the monotone chambers of a mysterious host, Dracogen. Though outwardly quite accommodating, he probably tortures and murders tons of people in his giant home that is ENTIRELY SOUNDPROOFED. LIE THAT’S NOT CREEPY AT ALL. AND IT’S PROBABLY MADE OUT OF PEOPLE.
**Session 1 Summary** - As chronicled by the universe, who can’t think of a better title than what Ted thought of
After a long journey (longer for some than others), each of the requested adventurers arrived in Shallamas, the fabled City of Echoes. They found it to be less fabulous than advertised, but successfully found their way to the house of Zodra, their patron. After a warm welcome, Zodra gave it to them straight: face near-certain death for the mere potential of rich rewards. They were understandably doubtful, but after hearing that their travel and accommodations would be provided, they agreed. Their unnamed philethis benefactor then blipped them mysteriously to the city of Mulen, where their next contact Dracogen was waiting in his improbable house. Insisting on some private time for everyone, before their very early morning, Dracogen left them to their palatial suite to sleep or not sleep as they chose. Will they be horribly murdered? Have they already been killed and resurrected by the philethis? And what is Dracogen’s house made of? Who can say? Until next week, that is! Such suspense!
**Session 2 Summary**: The House of Dracogen
While some of the group chose to get their beauty sleep, the majority chose instead to try to investigate their mysterious host. Unfortunately, the man is either very uninteresting or knows how to keep his secrets. The nature of the house’s construction remains mysterious, but the group now knows that they are not prisoners. With a somewhat lessened sense of impending doom, the rest of the adventurers take to bed in preparation for the dangers that await.
**Session 3 Summary**: After a brief rest, Dracogen appeared with the first light of dawn to inform you of your mission. Some of you decided to sleep in, but Caid, Zero and Ix were able to rouse themselves in time and were treated to a hearty breakfast in Dracogen’s cafeteria (which suddenly appeared while you were sleeping, apparently). After a free ride down to the docks, Ix, Caid and Zero were given jetpacks to help them reach their goal: the mysterious floating white island in the middle of the ocean. In the middle of the island was a spire, which Ix was able to find a way to enter. What treasures or dangers await within?
Session 3, Ted edition: Our fearless heroes awake, or some of them at least, traveling downstairs to find a mysterious new cafeteria that has appeared in Dracogen’s lobby. Ix and Zero quickly eat a sparse meal, while Caid takes advantage of the abundance of food by indulging in three double-sized helpings of food, making a small spectacle of his valiant effort not to vomit it all back up. The trio then made their way to the docks, after noticing the curious fact that everyone who enters Dracogen’s tower looks quite gloomy, yet all who leave seem unusually happy. After arriving at the docks they… you know what, to be honest I fell asleep on the floor next to my computer at this point and didn’t wake up until morning. Don’t ask me what happened next.
**Session 4 Summary**: After entering the central spire on this strangely lifeless floating island, Ix, Caid, Yreal and Zero were treated to an astounding feat of engineering. The whole structure seemed to be a machine of some sort. It wasn’t until they convinced the island’s guardian, the plasmar Gon Hasfa, of their good (or at least non-violent) intentions that they learned of the structure’s purpose. Imprisoned in the central sphere was an unspeakable creature of shadow, capable of controlling energy in some way. It was a tremendous threat to the plasmar of that area, and was kept under constant guard. After agreeing not to disrupt the island in any way, the small team explored further and found several powerful devices and trinkets to take back to Dracogen. Will their scavenging disrupt the creature’s prison enough to allow it to escape? And will Dracogen be satisfied with the treasures that the team has returned, or will he continue to send more hapless adventurers to their doom? There is much more to this job than the team was led to believe.
Session 4: “???????????????????????”: Apron-tan and friends enter alien structure and discover floor made of dire lego bricks! Apron-tan and friends encounter mystical energy man Gon Hasfa! Apron-tan and friends get ready for fight, conflict music go: ???????????????????????! Apron-tan and friends survive special primary attack 1: ???? ????! Apron-tan and friends win the heart of mystical energy man Gon Hasfa! Apron-tan and friends are warned of peril by mystical energy man Gon Hasfa! Apron-tan and friends suspect secret motives from mysterious immortal employer Dracogen! Apron-tan and friends brashly proceed, deadly Murder Globes get! Apron-tan and friends avoid jet pack battle with deadly ocean life! Apron-tan and friends explore advanced engine compartment mark one: float system engaged! Apron-tan and friends get attacked by Apron-tan and friends clones! Apron-tan and friends boldly make door! Apron-tan and friends discover shirt! Apron-tan and friends implore you, stay tuned for more Apron-tan and friends! Apron-tan and friends say, “????~!”
**Session 5 Summary**: After a near-miss with the Black Kur spawning off of the coast of Mulen, the group is met with a familiar face when they return to Dracogen’s house: Dunkelzahn, an old acquaintance of Caid’s. They reveal their bounty to the master of the household, only to learn that the whole mission was merely a test. The true task lies ahead. Dracogen and his philethis companion claim that the whole world is at stake, but can they be trusted? Will the group fall in rank with an employer who may be much more and less than what he seems, or will they trust in the warnings of Gon Hasfa and keep their distance? Surely, much more than mere wealth is at stake, and they have only until the morning to decide whether or not to take on a mission that may claim all of their lives.
When it comes to RTS games, StarCraft has made quite the impact, especially when it comes to the competitive scene. I myself have been quite the casual fan because I was quite interested in the lore behind the games at the time. So to show my love for the franchise, I think it's high time we look back into it's history.....
Let's start with the beginning.
It all started with one other game Blizzard had made, its flagship franchise: Warcraft! To be more precise, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. That game had improved upon it's predecessor, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans and its competitor: Command and Conquer. From being the first RTS to actually have 640x480 resolution through "super VGA graphics", and it had really addicting gameplay. And what better way to enjoy the game than to play against your friends. While Warcraft II may have had LAN support for up to 8 players, it did not have true online play. Fans of the game however made a workaround to that in the form of a software called Kali, which is a service that lets people connect to a server online without considering it an international call (this was made back when dial-up was all we had) for a fee. Regardless, Warcraft II's multiplayer via Kali brought forth a really strong community and they made its share of competitive ladders. It was also the first RTS game to introduce the idea of custom maps through the use of programs like Puddraft or War2xEd, which went right in Warcraft II's code and it gave modders the tools they need to customize the maps to however they want. These tools were so popular that Blizzard eventually would use similar tools in their future strategy games. However, if there was any shortcoming Warcraft II had, it was diversity amongst it's factions, not in terms of what skills each faction had, but rather the way they are played. In a way, both the Alliance and Horde factions played almost the same except the Horde had a bigger advantage, which leads to issues in terms of balance.
In 1995, after Warcraft 2's success, Blizzard worked on their new game: Starcraft, while Blizzard North, formerly Condor Games, worked on a brand new IP called Diablo. By using the same engine that powered Tides of Darkness as their basis, they showed off what their project looked like in E3 1996. What did it look like? Well......
Yeah, it looked reaaaalllly ugly. And many who attended E3 thought so as well. People criticized it for being called "Warcraft In Space" as it did not look too different from Warcraft II, just a different coat of paint and they shifted their focus on Diablo (which was well received, of course).
Because of negative response they received at E3, the Blizzard team behind the development of Starcraft needed more time to completely rewrite the game engine from the ground up. Not only did they aim to improve the game's graphics, but the gameplay as well. They worked to add more variety to each unit from their respective factions. However, development was slow at the time that fans that have been eagerly waiting for the new game formed a group on the Blizzard forums called Operation Can't Wait Any Longer, which caught Blizzard's eye that they were referenced in the final product through a cheat code called "operationcwal" which was meant to speed up the construction process in the game. In addition, they added the "thereisnocowlevel" cheat code in reference to the Diablo myth about a secret cow level, which was made official through an actual level in Diablo II.
To add more to the trivia, there was some issues with the name of the game. You see, Starcraft was also the name of a line of car by GM at the time, so they had to change it slightly by capitalizing the letter C, hence "StarCraft".
THIS IS STARCRAFT!? O-o
Before finally releasing Starcraft to the general public, they needed to clear out some bugs first. So they released a beta of the game to 1,000 lucky people, which has grown pretty standard these days but back then, releasing a beta to those that were not playtesters was quite a rarity especially in a video game. It was usually operating systems like Windows 95 that had beta versions released before the final product was out. The beta-testers tried out the game, competed in the ladder and provided as much feedback towards the game to ensure that it's multiplayer would be as balanced as ever. For instance, the Zerg Queen wasn't originally going to be a caster unit, but rather a really powerful version of the Mutalisk, where it can fire off Glaive Wurms in addition to spawning Broodlings and there was also the Protoss Archon which used to have the ability to mind control.
After the playtesting has been done, it's finally time to release the damn game. The common release date for most games was during the Christmas season. Confident in their product, Blizzard released the game on March 31st 1998 believing that it would succeed at any period. And by God, they are right as the game had been universally well-received by gamers and reviewers alike.
It had everything an RTS should be and it brought something new to the table. Let's start with the campaign:
Unlike most RTS games where you play both factions and their storyline is so contradicting with the other that you can't tell which is canonical, StarCraft's storytelling was more unique as to each faction storyline ties into the other in a similar manner as a chapter. You start out with the Terran's campaign, which tells the story of how Marshall James Raynor and Arcturus Mengsk formed a rebellion against the Confederacy known as the Sons of Korhal, the Zerg campaign, where you play a cerebrate under the command of the Overmind where you assault the Protoss homeworld of Aiur so that the Overmind himself can infest the planet and make it his own, and finally the Protoss campaign where they try to take back their home from the Zerg while trying to dispute amongst themselves in terms of following their Templar ways.
In terms of presentation, StarCraft was a fine looking game. It not only had really good graphics for the time, but it had other staples from its other games like the use of cinematic cutscenes, to talking units and various scripting events throughout the campaign.
Gameplay-wise, it was extremely fresh. Each faction plays completely different from one another. You got :
The Terrans, the human race who specializes in having superior firepower and movable structures.
The Protoss, an alien race where their warfare involves using Psionic powers and extremely advanced technology.
And the Zerg, a feral race while weak, can easily overpower their enemies through numbers and speed. And the game wasn't all just about searching and destroying everything in the campaign, as you complete various objectives in a similar fashion of an RPG.
And then....there was multiplayer. While not the first Blizzard game to have this feature, StarCraft was the first RTS to have a fully integrated Battle.net system were gamers can no longer rely on 3rd party software to find games as they can just simply log into Bnet, find a match and thats it. On top of that, it took a leaf out of the 3rd party map makers from Warcraft II and developed their own map editor for modders to use in case they want to get creative and make brand new maps on Bnet. Some were so popular that they got spotlights on gaming magazines.
While people had some fun with the game, it also had its share of frustration such as the Zerg being the only race that not only have cheap structures to make, but they can be built faster, leading to instantly spawning zerglings to take down the opposing faction as quickly as possible, hence the meme ZERG RUSH! One other downside to this game was that this was still the age where dial-up was the only way to use the Internet, and other than the lag spikes you'd get, you would also have an outrageously high telephone bill up your ass. Meaning that not every gamer would be able to fully enjoy Battle.net until the greatest creation of mankind that is "Broadband" would be introduced to the masses.
Regardless of the problems it had at the time, StarCraft had great replay value overall, where the best of the best would compete with each on Battle.net ladders. The top 16 players would have a chance to compete in a Blizzard tournament against each other for the $10,000 grand prize. However, there are issues involving hacks that were used in those tournaments.
As the popularity of the game grew, so was the demand for more single-player content. To test such a demand, Blizzard released episodes of add-ons called "Enslavers: Dark Vengeance", which was praised by most StarCraft fans. Eventually different kinds of add-ons and third-party expansions were released such as Insurrection, Retribution and the long lost Stellar Forces, and average add-on which was taken down by Blizzard's legal department and to this day that map pack is very hard to find on the internet. Eventually the demand for new stuff from StarCraft grew ever so high that Blizzard decided not to release another add-on, but a true expansion to the game. That expansion will change StarCraft....forever!
On November 30th, 1998, eight months after StarCraft's debut, it's first and only expansion, Brood War was released and once again, received a great deal of praise by gamers and critics that it got a 10/10 in some of its reviews, which was quite rare for an expansion pack to get. But it offered more content from a new campaign picking up from where the first game left off to an improved and complex multiplayer experience for everyone. While Brood War added new units and new maps along with bug fixes and balance patches, it also introduced an extremely useful update that is Patch 1.08, where it can allow any player to see a replay of a match in order to learn each players strategy and to keep track of the metagame in addition to showing off those replays to everyone for bragging rights or perhaps for profit via sponsorships which were implemented years after the patch came out where companies like AMD or Coca-cola and some various websites would endorse their products at the start of a replay. These sponsorships for Starcraft games would eventually be far more profitable if you were in South Korea.
It is common knowledge amongst every gamer on the planet that StarCraft was the most popular game in South Korea. So popular, that it practically became a spectator sport where not everyone would have to be a gamer to understand. How is that possible, you ask?
Let's start by talking about the booming business in Korea (or most of Asia, for that matter) that is the PC Bang!
The PC Bang, commonly known as the cyber cafe are PC arcade shops where customers can simply browse the internet or play online games. Ideal cyber cafes would normally come with futuristic interior design, PCs with reasonably awesome specs, really fast internet speeds, and a snack bar to boot. We should also take into consideration the fact that most Koreans, unlike Americans or Europeans have no guaranteed pension, meaning they need to find something that will promise them a steady income after retirement. And establishing a cyber cafe is one of those ideal choices due to less manual labor to be had, other than cleaning up the store and PC maintenance, and as far as games go, you can easily install them on every PC for the customers to play. When PC Bangs were established, people would come over to either browse the web or play whatever online game the stores had to offer, including StarCraft. Overtime, the game was played so frequently that it became a standard than a choice for every PC Bang to have StarCraft installed. Eventually, TV executives tried to capitalize on the StarCraft craze by hosting StarCraft tournaments on dedicated gaming cable TV channels in Korea, which would give rise to various professional gamers, their teams, their sponsors and a local body dedicated to managing eSports known as the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) in 2000. Ever since the craze of Starcraft, it became a part of Korean culture in some form.
Take a look at this screenshot and tell me if you can find some reference:
Okay, so cyber cafes were one of the main factors of Starcraft's popularity, but what is the real reason for its popularity compared to other RTS games of the time. To understand that, let's look at the two other RTS games that were direct competitors to Starcraft: Total Annihilation by Cavedog Entertainment and Command & Conquer by Westwood Studios.
Of the three RTS games I mentioned, TA was the best game and it had its share of innovations that would eventually be borrowed by the RTS games that follow, such as 3D graphics and a more streamlined user interface. However, the game never caught on by a lot of gamers due to the demanding graphics at the time, as it required a Pentium 133 MHz PC and a 24 MB RAM to even run the game at a consistently fantastic framerate. May be a really laughable requirement in this day and age, but back in 1997, this was quite a demanding requirement. While the game did have good reviews and was pretty solid all on its own, it only managed to acquire a small, yet dedicated following.
On the other hand, Westwood beat Blizzard first in terms of online play in their games with Command and Conquer. However, their most popular spinoff at the time, Red Alert was not up to snuff compared to what StarCraft had to offer. While Red Alert had some awesome things going for it like the use of naval and air units, there was a matter of balance issues. For instance, the Soviet Mammoth Tank was so overpowered that it caused real imbalance in a proper multiplayer match, leaving most gamers so frustrated that they lost interest in going head to head with others.
Aside from the balanced (for the most part) elements between the three races in Starcraft, unique units and isometric perspective, it was Battle.net online service that Blizzard packaged with the game that made it very popular. As I mentioned before, Battle.net had a solid matchmaking experience, online ladders and it was all for free.
That's pretty much it for now. On my next part of my retrospective, I will be talking about Starcraft II and the stages it had to go through before its release. Until next time, g1s. Nemesis out!a
A couple of days ago, TotalBiscuit's First Impressions on a game called Day One Garry's Incident was taken down by the company behind the game, Wild Games Studios. His overall thoughts on the game were negative and rightfully so as the game is just plain terrible to say the least. The CEO of Wild Games named "Stephane" had this to say about the subject:
"We protected our copyright because Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license."
If you have watched the video pinned on the blog, you'd probably realize that it's a big lie on Stephane's part as he gave TB a review code for the game only to have the LP video taken down simply because the review was not positive. Note that other videos that gave the game negative commentary were never removed from YouTube. Just this one video from TotalBiscuit. It's said that TB's YouTube providers may settle this matter legally today.
Once upon a time, there was one underrated game based on a tabletop called Shadowrun that came out on the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. It was good. In 2007, just when Shadowrun fans thought they would have a modern Shadowrun, they instead got a person shooter. In response, a certain bard shouted out:
To be fair, while the game LOOKS okay, it clearly wasn't the game the fans wanted. Years later, after Mr Jordan Weisman acquired the rights to the Shadowrun license. After their Kickstarter campaign hit the $1 million mark back in April of 2012, he and his team called Harebrained Schemes finally got to work on making a Shadowrun game that its fans, and RPG fans alike, rightfully deserve. While it did get delayed for 6 more months after it's supposed released date on January 2013, it has finally come out and what do I think of it? Coming from a first timer in the Shadowrun series, I thought the game is basically:
1. A reboot, homage and a sequel to the classic Shadowrun games
2. Fantastic in terms of telling it's story (the ones Harebrained attached with the game)
3. A little rough around the edges at times
4. Potentially high replay value outside of the campaign.
5. What's up with just autosaving? It's nice and all, but I'd like the option to manually save my games especially that way, I won't have to go thru dialog after dialog before I continue where I left off, thank you very much.
I wish Princess Luna could have dark blue hair in the portrait. :(
While Shadowrun isn't as deep of an RPG as opposed to AAA titles under its genre, classic or modern, it gives gamers enough to indulge upon, from multiple classes, races and skill trees. You play a Shadowrunner who goes on mission against big evil corporations and such. Based on the campaigns that Shadowrun Returns has to offer, it has delivered a fantastic cyberpunkian atmosphere, provided great writing through and through (still haven't finished one of the campaigns yet).
Shadowrun Returns' combat is a turn-based system similar to XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) where each character can use two moves at a time on each turn and it has a fairly intuitive cover system to minimize chances of getting hit with a direct attack, except this time that you got a lot of options to choose from depending on your playstyle as offers dozens of variables, from different types of spells, grenades, firing modes for guns, hacking drones, or terminals, you name it. My main problems with its combat are:
1. Sometimes, I think the combat isn't all that challenging. Then again, this is on Normal difficulty.
2. Magic doesn't look as flashy as I would have liked when you compare it to gunplay.
3. Controlling my character along with a companion or two can be a bit clumsy at times especially with the misclicks I do every now and then. Least, there's an option to double click to confirm what I want to do.
Based on what I have learned about Shadowrun, the game puts more emphasis on telling a story rather than combat. And from what Harebrained's campaign has to offer, while linear in design and offering almost no room to explore in addition to no voice acting whatsoever, it did its job extremely nicely in telling IT's story. But that isn't what this game has to offer. Oh no! In fact, that's just the tip of the iceberg as the game comes with its own campaign editor made for modders and aspiring GMs who want to tell THEIR story of Shadowrun for gamers to play out thanks to the Steam Workshop. When I spoke with Kenshiro3 about this, he mentioned a game called Neverwinter Nights that did just that back then. Honestly, this is a solid move. It extends the lifespan of the game and keeps the experience fresh.
I should also mention that if you were not one of the Kickstarter backers for this game, then you can only play the DRM version of it on Steam. Those who DID, will get the DRM-free version. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of them as I never even knew they actually Kickstarted this until April when it was over. :(
Overall, while it costs $20 on Steam, this game does many things that not every RPG in this day and age has done so far. All thanks to the fans who supported it. Thanks so much and if you'll excuse me, I think it's time I have Princess Luna take down some baddies for me. :)
Editor's Note: I replaced the live feed with the archived video and posted the trailer above that.
With Heart of the Swarm coming out on March 12, Blizzard adds even more ways for Starcraft fans to fangasm even more by announcing a brand new trailer called "Vengeance", and they are going to reveal it through their livestream on Twitch at 12:00 PST today (that's in 4 hours at the time of this blog's publishing)
Here are some things you should expect from the stream:
1. Blizzard developers discussing about HotS and the making of the "Vengeance" trailer
2. An exclusive Heart of the Swarm show match casted by John "TotalBiscuit" Bain and Shaun "dApollo" Clarm
3. THE FUCKING TRAILER ITSELF!
If you feel like taking part in the discussion segment of the stream, simply post on Twitter with the hashtag #Vengeance or take part in the stream chat.