Frank Talks About Games (Again): Faster than Light!

Faster than Light is an indie spaceship-em-up from Subset Games that absolutely SMASHED it’s Kickstarter target by 2000%! Basically you as Holly on a Federation (Good guys) spaceship carrying data vital to the survival of the Federation. Seems simply enough, get from point A to point B, deliver information, job done! But nothing is that easy. First things first, there are Rebels, Pirates, seriously angry Space Slugs etc. throughout the galaxy. You’ll also have to conserve resources. Oh yeah, and there’s the massive rebel fleet full of elite fighters and massive, heavily armed cruisers. that’s always one step behind you.

It’s absolutely brilliant. Since I got it yesterday, I’ve accidentally played about 17 hours of it, which will probably have shot up by the time you read this post. It gets really frantic sometimes, and you’re forced to make hard decisions like if you’re going to send Captain Expendable, Sergeant Redshirt or Private Scrub to patch up the gaping hole in the side of the USS Cannonfodder’s hull. It never fails to excite me and it’s got an AMAZING soundtrack, especially in the Rockman sectors. That music killed Sergeant Redshirt…

Every game you play is completely different thanks to it all being randomly generated. Which adds to the sometimes preposterously unfair difficulty… Achievements are what achievements should be, really hard things that you wouldn’t really do normally such as using Ion Weaponry to disable four of an enemy ship’s systems at the same time rather than opening up the game and immediately being told “CONGRATULATIONS, HAVE A STICKER!” in a slightly patronizing voice. Also, once you’re dead, you stay dead. The USS Cannonfodder will not appear at the nearest checkpoint, and will be lost in the depths of the game files until you inevitably click “New Game” and give everyone the same names then weep quietly when they get destroyed by a solar flare or eaten by giant alien mantis-thingy (again) because you got too attached, you ponce!

A word of warning here: You WILL die lots. There’s always a ship who’s immense shields render your puny lasers useless or a Rockman that beams onto your ship without warning and starts smashing up all the little squishy humans that might as well be trying to kill it with a water pistol.  But dying is half of the fun, unless you catch aforementioned “Too attached to identical characters in a computer game syndrome” and become dangerously self-loathing because you forgot to turn the oxygen on again! Which brings me to my final point, FOR THE IDENTICAL CLONES ON THAT LITTLE SHIP’S SAKE, TURN THE OXYGEN BACK ON, YOU MONSTER!

In conclusion, Faster than Light is a fun little 2D Spaceship micromanagement simulator, which you will never leave. Ever. Get the game at http://www.ftlgame.com/!

-Frank

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Frank’s Top 5 Most Wanted Games of 2012/2013!

I was flicking through my GamesMaster magazine and considering what to write about today when I suddenly thought up the idea of doing a list on upcoming titles I really really want to play when they come out. So, seeing as you all came for the list, here it is!

5: Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Black Ops II

I never thought I would say this, but I’m actually looking forward to a Modern Warfare game. The new weapons, drones etc. look like great fun to play with, and the new perk system looks like it will keep things relatively fair so my brains will stay in my skull for a precious few seconds longer than they normally would. The game keeps the same formula of RUNNY SHOOTY KILLY and sadly the same colour palettes as before (Brown and grey… ugh.). Hopefully the campaign will be a bit longer and with a more believable plot instead of Russia invades EVERYTHING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME!!! I might even get into the multiplayer, as long as I keep everybody MUTED.

4: Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike: GO is essentially counter strike except with improved graphics, new gamemodes, new weapons and in general much more polish. It’s still the same frantic, fast-paced, FPS that I fell in love with. And with the shiny new hardware that’s brought the game up to date, it’s definitely one to watch.

3: Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin’s Creed III is the fifth game in the Assassin’s Creed series due to the fact that Ubisoft still don’t know how NUMBERS WORK. The game is set in the US during the American Revolution, which is a nice change from the Middle East/The Mediterranean settings which constantly feature in the series. New features include  running through the trees, which looks very fluid and innovative, a detachable blade, a bow and an improvised noose, as if the original hidden blade, sword, halberd, mace, crossbow, poisoned dagger, poisoned darts, bombs, hook, other hidden blade, and GUN wasn’t enough for you.  So I’m generally looking forward to the fresh new setting and overhauled climbing system, as long as we don’t have to play as FUTURE DESMOND too much.

2: Dishonored

Dishonored is a new Sci-fi First Person stealth assassin-’em-up that looks like what would happen if Agent 47 from Hitman accidentally got sucked into Half-life 2. Sword fighting and firefights look visceral and fluid, powers seem balanced and make me conjure up all sorts of mischievous plans for all kind of destruction and sneakyness. The game looks brilliant and I simply can’t wait.

And now… My most wanted game is…

1: Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is the sequel to Borderlands, as one might expect. I played the first Borderlands for a bit, but I’ve heard good things about some bosses near the end of the game, specifically the Rakk Hive. Personally I doubt I would manage it because Rakk’s remind me of CLIFF RACERS far too much. Now, everything in Borderlands 2 has been vastly improved. Guns are a LOT more powerful and varied, No more random “Kill x of x” or “Gather x of x” quests. Assassin Zero looks like the most appealing to play to me, with stealth and sniping elements skipping hand in hand through an Idyllic meadow. I absolutely LOVE the new Antagonist, Handsome Jack. He’s so incredibly sarcastic it just amuses me beyond compare. Developers say that he’ll be a character that you’ll love but want to kill him at the same time, which sounds brilliant. Finally, Claptrap. ‘Nuff said.

So that’s my most wanted games at the moment. Feel free to leave a comment if you agree with me and enjoyed the article, or if you didn’t and why.

-Frank

You’re addicted to that computer!

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Recently I was scurrying around in the depths of Youtube when I came across a video from a Youtuber that I regularly watch in which he discussed “Video game addiction”. Then I thought “I must write a blog about this topic IMMEDIATELY!” so here you go: This is my opinion from the viewpoint of a reasonable and unbiased blogger (Yes I am!)

Anyone who can turn a computer on can pretty much figure out what “Computer addiction” means, it’s self-explanatory so I’ll just get to the point. “Addiction” isn’t a word I particularly like. It’s just so unnecessarily negative. If you do something that you enjoy as often as possible some people might label you as an addict. I use a computer a lot because it’s something I enjoy, but some people would say that I’m addicted. And they always say it like it’s a bad thing for some incomprehensible reason. I could quite easily state that you’re addicted to knitting, or Countdown, so to be honest saying something is addicted to something is quite hypocritical.

Being “addicted” to a computer is frowned upon by a fair few people, and they act like it’s whoever’s “addicted”‘s fault, but it’s not! Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in modern society, we rely on it to do most things because they’re designed to do things better than normal people so that they don’t have to.

Furthermore, nobody says that people are addicted to sport. They follow an almost religious training regime and people just cheer them on and say that it’s good for you. Reasonable amounts of exercise is good, but doing loads of it day after day after day? Sure, you’ll be fit and healthy, but later in life all you’ll get from it is bad knees.

I’ve learned quite a few things from computers. Sadly, this hasn’t worked both ways. In other words, computers still haven’t learned how to be relatively RELIABLE.My reaction times are fast, you can obtain this from sport as well but we’ve moved from sports now! I can type fast which I could apply to a job in lots of things e.g. accounting and writing. Also I’ve got so much information that I can access faster than Usain Bolt finishing the 100 meter sprint. (If you haven’t guessed already, I take a very academic approach to life which means I generally shun sports because I don’t really see how they can keep society turning like the (mostly) well-oiled machine that it is.).

In conclusion, addiction isn’t really the word to be used in most situations (Don’t even bring narcotics into this) and you will probably learn more general information on a computer than on a football pitch.

You are now free to send me emails complaining that football teaches you teamwork and that I’ll end up being unfit and lazy. But make sure you buy some three for one oil afterwards, you robot!

Frank