Monthly Archives: October 2004

Jumpgate, Episode 2 Attack of the Conflux

Ok, so the title is sort of influenced by a well known series of films ;-) but it must be the greatest galaxy based mmorpg out there. Look past the tired graphics (it is 3 years old now!), and you will find a fantastic real time space sim, that relies totally on skill, and not who has the best skills or biggest ship. No point and click here, all done by you!

Jumpgate features 5 factions, of which 3 are playable, and have their own styles. Play the Solrain, a trader type faction, where the credits rule. Be a mining religious zealot, in the Quantar faction, or a warmongering combat orientated player from Octavia. Each has its own types of ships suited to their own unique personality.

Jumpgate has a lot to do too, mining, hauling for profit, killing the npc enemies, known as the conflux, and of course PvP. PvP in Jumpgate is definately better than in any other game. Skill is definately the requiement here, he with the biggest ship does not always win, a steady hand and a good aim is needed here.

The only minus for Jumpgate is it can be tough in the early stages, getting through the levelling treadmill can be laborious, and somewhat repetitive, but isnt that the case in most games? Besides, it is definately worth it, once you get the good stuff :-)

Overall, while it doesnt look as good as the latest releases, Jumpgate is an absolute must for the skill based rpg fans, who want more than Eve’s point and click type gameplay. Give it a go, free download, free 10 day trial, what have you got to lose?

I don’t work for them before you ask, but am a stalwart fan, who would LOVE to see more players, so drop by and give it a go.

Maple Story

Well, I was pretty much looking for something to do while my friends were out of town for the weekend, when low and behold along comes Maple Story via MMORPG.com. I’d seen it around a number of times, and certain tidbits and such had turned me away, up until now. (The things desperation leads us to, yes?)

Well, about the graphics, since that’s what a lot of people seem to care about nowadays. I think it’s surprising that Nexon’s finally got some decent artists at the helm (feel free to complain if you want, but the last game I saw them do was The Kingdom of the Wind and Dark Ages or what have you, and I was incredibly turned off by it all,) and I’m glad to see cute, colorful sprites at last! I was very pleased with the avatars for the most part, and the monsters are nice, too. I’d rather see a game with beautiful hand drawn sprites than any super-rendered 3D game, though, so I may be a tad bias. They aren’t the best 2D sprites ever, mind you, but they’re quite pleasing to the eye.

The music is pleasing, and fitting, so no complaints here. Not really much room to comment on it, anyway. Anything else? Let’s see…the concept is refreshing! It’s basically YS online, and, well, this is good and bad. Which lends itself to the heart of my review, and the beginning of the not so positive bits.

Moving my Magician and Thief around the landscape, I’ve seen quite a few things and ultimately come to the same realization either way. Levelling up is a gigantic pain in the arse, and frankly, that’s all you’ll do. There are, supposedly, mini-games, but they are few and far between. To make it clear like chlorine, the pure YS-ness of Maple Story is its biggest annoyance. I love platforming, and I do love YS, but the formula simply doesn’t work here because of a few major reasons. Levelling usually either takes place on maps so crowded that you’re waiting around for monsters that will be kill stolen anyway, or on maps so full of monsters that you can’t effectively kill any of them. The way fighting works, as in YS and lots of single player platformers, is that enemies only need to touch you to do you damage and momentarily halt your movement. This is all fine and good when you’re playing some SNES platformer and there’re only three enemies on screen, and it only takes one hit to kill each one. However, when you’re trying your damndest just to take out one enemy and three others come marching up from behind him, therefor ruining your chance at getting any experience, it can get disheartening after the first ten deaths.

Of course, it could be argued that one needs to hunt more carefully, which I managed to do, as well. Let me first point out the fact that the very idea is a little silly; from the very first snail you kill, ALL the enemies you fight are, respectively, aggro. The earliest levels are already hard enough, without having to run from everything that moves because you just want to kill one thing. Especially Mages in training, who have to basically cross their fingers and find a lone enemy that they can hopefully keep away for 10 minutes so they can take it out with their 1′s and 2′s without another mob biting them in the arse and ruining the whole thing.

But, yes. I managed to find my little spot and wail on enemies intelligently. Sadly, levelling still seems to take forever, and, well…I won’t deny it’s likely more involving than most MMORPG’s combat systems, but frankly killing things feels pretty unsatisfying most of the time for some reason. I’m sure the game is fun at higher levels, but early on it’s really not motivating at all. This could have something to do with the community…

Or lack thereof, frankly. I don’t know if the platforming style is simply not conducive of real communiation, or if Maple Story just lacks the facilities for an in-game community, but there really doesn’t seem to be one. The beginning characters all quietly KS eachother while the uppers just…go off and do whatever higher level things they do, or sit on the benches in town and mind their own. I suppose it could be said that the gameplay itself encourages people to play by themselve, but there isn’t really any telling for me. All I know is that everyone seems to be too busy being competitive to form real communities and friendships, which is part of the biggest reason I got turned off 10 levels into the game; why work up your character if no one cares? I didn’t see anyone compliment anyone else during my time, or even talk as if their accomplishments even mattered. Not even parties sitting in town looking for Clerics. If people talked about more than KSing and how gay they were, maybe I could’ve put up with the gameplay issues I didn’t quite like, but I don’t really see the amusement in being a level 40 Wizard, still blasting away at giant mushrooms by myself so I can be stronger still. Or, you know, playing a one player platforming RPG with some 50,000 other people coincidentally.

Oh, and I didn’t like that you couldn’t have your hair changed yet/without spending real world cash. But anyway.

Six or seven out of ten? There are definitely aspects I enjoy, but a lot of the time it just really feels like a helluva lotta work for no real return. I mean, c’mon, if I wanted to play a game without any social interaction, I’d just play something on a console with a driving story or responsive, tight twitch gameplay. There’s room for improvement, and I hope it’s made. Or, well, somebody else makes it. Either way.

Nativitas

Nativitas is a browser-based strategy game, start out in the stone age and raise to other ages.

Gameplay Its pretty addicting, you can fight other factions and build, explore and alot of other things. Hire men to fight (cavemen etc). It could use more units so, but it is in testing 7.6/10

Graphics no graphics, but the layout is nice and easy to read everything. 8/10

Community Not many players yet, its still new. But the creator is nice from what I’ve seen 8/10

Gunbound

My Review of Gunbound

Gameplay: 9/10 I liked it, The controls arnt to hard to get used to put at least 2 days into it you will get the hang of it. The fact that there was different mobiles is fun as well so you could have different shots So they did an all and all job.

Sound: 7/10 The sound is good for the game.. But its not spectacular, it will however entertain you in the game for a while.

Graphics: 9/10 I loved them i have a soft spot for 2d platformers. I just realy seem to enjoy them. But they are not for everyone.

Community: 5/10 I dislike the whole attitude of the game most people in the game are just trying to rip you off. Never trade with any one unless you personaly know them.

Server stability: 8.5/10 Is good it only ever goes down on server checks. So good server stability.

Overall: 8/10 Its good sum people will realy enjoy it other will not but i did. Altho now i am bored of it but thats 2 years later.

The Kingdom of Loathing

Hey guys, if you’re ever sick of conventional RPG gaming, here’s a new site for you to check out. It’s called the Kingdom of Loathing. Originally founded by Jick, he didn’t quite expect it to be a major hit with many people playing it. Recently, it has also gotten on Gamespot News and News.com, as it’s a refreshing change to conventional RPGs.

It’s essentially a parody, to say the least, and we are able to find, point, and laugh at the references given to other games, such as the Protagonist (Cloud) and his Ridiculously Large Sword, the Burly Sidekick (Barret). The pictures drawn and simple, but yet reflect deeper insights. To quote from one of the randomly random battles in the Kingdom:

“This is a white chocolate golem.
Chocolate is neither white nor chocolate. Discuss”

What other site would have gotten you to ponder harder than that? Hilarious classes available include the Disco Bandit, the Pastamancer and the Sauceror, each with their own unique stats.

The players are also very friendly in the chat, and a newbie should receive plently of help if he doesn’t go against the rules and beg. I’m not considered as a very experienced player, but you can contact me ingame for help by locating either ResiLiang or Ghost of the English Language. (The latter was inspired by a similarly named Ghost in the Altar of Literacy)

So come and join the community now! You know you want to.

An Adventurer is You!

Shadow Lights

Graphics: I like the layout, other then that, its text based browser game, no graphics

Community Pretty good, not alot of people play so, chat is rarely active since lack of players, but from what I’ve seen its good 6.3/10

Gameplay Very addictive, ya, all you do is click..but still fun, get runes to upgrade your weapons/armor/spells (Only way to get better items) kingdoms are going to be implemented sometime soon 8/10