Monthly Archives: November 2005


Being a strategy-game junkie, I’ve longed for an online game that provided meaningful, long-term conflict. A game where multiple sides fought each-other over weeks or months in an attempt to gain the upperhand … and I was quite surprised to find all this in a web-based game called Tinywarz. However, Tinywarz does not follow the traditional web-based game; instead of text telling you what has happened, all the action in the game is carried out using 2d graphics on a planet map.

The premise of Tinywarz is simple: Players form Factions, then work together to control a series of planets.

For a game played through a web browser, Tinywarz is impressively deep. Players have over fifty vehicles to choose from; including tanks, wheeled vehicles, hovercraft, and meka (mechs). All these units can be equipped with up to four “mods” that modify a vehicle’s stats by adding a weapon, improving shields, or installing a larger engine. This allows you to take a seemingly defenseless scout, and turn it into a wheeled dealer of death and destruction. Over fifty mods can be used in combination with each vehicle, providing for nearly endless possibilities.

The game also contains role playing undertones. Each player is represented by a Command Unit, that can purchase a wide variety of skills and abilities. Players wishing to focus on construction can choose abilities that improve that area, while combat oriented players have a range of options that can improve the abilities of their own units or harm their opponents, players looking to fill a support role will find a line of skills that lets them “heal” units in combat or re-arm them. Players can also hire additional crews for the rest of their vehicles, who (at high levels) gain unique abilities that further improve the usefulness of the unit.

Another part of building your army in Tinywarz is the base creation feature that allows players to design a base, which will deploy with them on a planet. Bases play a large role in Faction vs. Faction battles, where many players work together in an attempt to destroy an opposing Faction’s base.

If Tinywarz has any flaws it’s the rather steep learning curve involved in figuring out the game. However, several guides are available, and many players have even taken on roles to assist new players. None-the-less, it can be rather daunting to learn all the ins-and-outs for Tinywarz.

All-in-all Tinywarz is a very, very addictive game (if you take the time to learn how to play it). Very few games match the “persistent online war” feel that Tinywarz manages and, because it’s browser-based, I can feed my addiction from work or at home.

Wild Arms: Alter Code F

Wild Arms:Alter Code F
Released: Nov 15, 2005
Agetec Productions

I recently received a copy of Agetec’s rpg Wild Arms:Alter Code F, which is a remake of the classic Wild Arms that was released for the Playstation. Before Final Fantasy VII captured everyone’s imagination, Wild Arms opened up an original world with an engaging plot. It was one of the first rpg that featured 3D battles, and a combination if science and magic. Now, it’s been reinvented for the PS2. And it’s amazing.

The original Wild Arms centered on 3 playable characters. Rudy, who can control the powers of the forbidden Arms, Jack, a swordsman treasure hunter who works with his blue rodent friend Hanpan, and Cecilia, your magic wielding princess turned adventurer trying to save her people. In this remake, you can also control 3 additional characters: Calamity Jane, a great gunfighter who’s got a bit of an attitude, McDullen, her butler who tries to keep her in line and fights with a sword, and Emma, a scientist studying the Arms and acquire abilities from enemies.

The world is really very large, with areas opening up as the game progresses, through the use of teleporters, caves, a ship, etc. The pace worked well, as I’ve never felt that I was progressing too fast or too slow. Enemies always seemed a perfect match.

Getting into battles has a unique feature as well. You’ve got a Migrant meter. With each battle, that meter goes up. You can see the monsters on the screen and can avoid battle with a hit of a button as long as you’ve got some points left on the Migrant meter. The weaker the enemy, the less it takes off your meter to skip. But you’ll not be able to skip too many battles from a monster as strong as you.

Battles themselves have a familiar turn based feel. You can choose between regular melee, special attacks, magic, and items. You gain Force Points in battle that allow you to use Special attacks (or Summon Gaurdians in the case of Cecilia).

Graphically the game looks great. The lush colors really stand out, as do the character graphics. The cut scenes won’t hold up when compared to some games such as FFX, but they look good nonetheless.

One of my big complaints is the lack of voice-overs. There are none at all. The story is very full, with some great characters, but to hear the voices rather than having to read everything would add more of an emmersion, in my opinion.

Now the game boasts 60+ hours of gameplay. I’ve not made it through half that yet. But the first time I sat down and played, I clocked in approximately 10 hours straight. This game pulls you into the plot very quickly.

If you’ve played the original version, you’ll feel very comfortable revisting old friends. If you’ve never played it, you’ll quickly fall for this great rpg title. I highly recommend this great title from Agetec!