I was in The Old Republic beta for about two months, and during that time, I managed to get three whole classes to level 10. About three weeks into my beta period, we were forced to reinstall the game due to a major update... and I simply never bothered to install the 20GB+ download again. This isn't to say that Star Wars: The Old Republic is a bad game, I just don't have enough time to devote to an MMO anymore, which is kind of sad, but then I go back to playing Zelda and Skyrim and I feel better.
Back to my original point though, the three classes I played were Smuggler, Jedi Consular, and Sith Warrior. While all fun in their own right, I had a really great time with the Smuggler. This is an action heavy class that plays like nothing I've seen in an MMORPG before. The Smuggler can take cover, roll around, and fire on demand with his blaster. It's a rather exciting class that made it feel like I was playing a lite version of Mass Effect.
I wasn't too impressed with the starting area of the Smuggler, however. Before playing as a Smuggler, I was expecting to do... some smuggling. But the plot arc made me feel more like a Republic soldier at worst, and a mercenary at best. Outside of my character's snarky dialog, I didn't feel much like Han Solo, the obvious archetype the class should have been modeled after. I understand BioWare is probably trying to lay the groundwork for the all tension between the Republic and Sith early on, but it made everything feel out of character.
Maybe I'll provide short write-ups of the other classes I tried in the next few days, but give Smuggler a shot, will make the World of Warcraft comparison a big joke.
Yes, I am now a beta tester for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and that is literally all I can tell you. The NDA says everything is confidential except for two addendums:
So until the NDA is lifted, I have to be silent! Please don't tempt me!
I am rather excited about beta testing, I recently went from seeing The Old Republic as a must-buy to being on-the-fence, so I see this as my free trial at the game before I plunk down $60 for the box plus $15/month. When I finally can write about the game, I will have plenty to say, with hopefully first hour impressions of every class. (yes, the game has classes and that's a well known fact, I can say that!) I'm also a big fan of Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic, and I usually put tons of trust into BioWare blindly, so that too will be put to the test.
Hopefully this won't cut into my regular gaming too much, but I'm actually not playing much at the moment though besides Xenoblade: Chronicles, so they will definitely compete for time. In the meantime, I'll probably pop up some first hour reviews of a few of my Steam games, Recettear has been calling to me for a while.
When selecting my next magazine to read with rose-colored glasses, I decided to go with PC Gamer, a magazine that was hugely influential over my middle and high school years. I never actually had a subscription to PC Gamer, I instead bought single issues of it in preparation for long vacations in the car as my family drove to Florida or New Jersey. PC Gamer was always more "adult" for me. I didn't have a lot of experience to base this on besides Nintendo Power and Game Players, but PC gaming was always inherently edgier and PC Gamer was written for a slightly older crowd.
So of the 13 issues of PC Gamer I apparently still own, my first was the June 1996 featuring X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter on the cover. The moment I saw this issue at the local Shopko, I undoubtedly became a man. Not only was I a huge Star Wars fan, but I had loved the original TIE Fighter and the magazine came with a CD. My very own compact disc filled with game demos and an AOL installation!
Hopefully I won't go as in depth with this issue as I did with my first issue of Nintendo Power (I did, whoops). I couldn't find this magazine scanned already online, so I did the scans myself, I apologize that they suck. Let's dive into PC Gamer 14 years ago.
After Nate’s excellent and complete wrap-up of the five big conferences, I’m going to cover some of the games that caught my attention over the last few days. While we knew the existence of some of these games before this week, our knowledge of them was pretty thin. Hopefully you’ll be seeing these games on the First Hour in the coming year (and hopefully we’ll recommend you keep playing them!).
This list is nowhere near complete, neither as a list of great E3 2010 games or even with games I was impressed with. Hope you enjoyed the show, I sure did.
Way back in May of 1992 for my eighth birthday, my cousins presented me with a subscription Nintendo Power. I had never received anything as cool as my own magazine in the mail before, so when the June '92 issue arrived a few days later I was in heaven. It would be another two years until I bought my own Super Nintendo, but my NES and new Nintendo Power subscription were enough for me.
I kicked off my new Magazine Nostalgia section a few weeks back with my own appearance in Nintendo Power #85, but I have a ton more to discuss. I recently semi-organized all my video game magazines of which I have hundreds, spanning from Nintendo Power, EGM, Game Players, and more. I know I won't ever be able to discuss them all, but I'd like to pretend to try, so why not cover the first one I ever owned?
Do you have any interesting magazine stories? Let us know in the comments section!
Back in 2003, I played a bit of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on the PC when it was released. It was college, so everybody was doing it, but for whatever reason, I only played a few hours. In 2009, I played the first hour of the game and rediscovered a gem. I loved Jade Empire and Mass Effect, but here was their older brother: slower paced and much more heavily based in the D20 rule set. It seemed like it wouldn't be possible to take the step backward from those action heavy games to Knights of the Old Republic, but after playing the first hour, I had to give it a try again.
I have a bit of an odd history with the game, like I mentioned, I played KotOR when it was first released, but gave up on it after reaching a key point in the game about 8-10 hours in. While replaying the game this time around, however, I couldn't remember how far I had played. I kept thinking, "oh, I remember doing this before, but there's no way I played beyond that" until I reached a point where I thought I really was playing all new content. Turns out, a few weeks ago I was perusing some random posts I wrote on a message board in 2003 and I was actually having a discussion with someone about reaching a particular scene I have absolutely no memory of playing. It was this really weird sense of deja vu, like I could have beaten the game but not remembered it.
I've beaten the game now though, here's my full review of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on the Xbox.
I recently finished a great fantasy book that is just ripe for turning into a video game. I actually began writing a short review about Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, but it quickly turned into an examination on book and movie based games and how they're designed. I quickly determined that there are two common methods of taking the original source and putting it into a gamers' hands, and I pretty much just threw the rest of the review away at that point (I hope to get around to it someday, this site does have book reviews for a reason). For better or worse, here's my examination of the two design mechanisms chosen when creating a game from an existing franchise. There are many factors that come into play when deciding between them, and honestly I think they often make or break the game.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is an action RPG released for the Xbox and Windows in 2003. Before KotOR, Star Wars games had plenty of success in the action genre, but had never ventured far beyond the standard platformer, space sim, or shooter. BioWare changed all that with Knights, and in the process kicked off their own line of very successful console-first RPGs. Many fans would call this an incredible amalgamation of LucasArts and BioWare, of Star Wars and Western RPGs. I'll save my judgement for after I save (or destroy?) the galaxy.
I played the game a bit during college when it first came out, but never got into the "series" until Jade Empire and then later Mass Effect. Since I'm experienced with their newer games, it will be very interesting to see how they evolved since Star Wars. Let's get into the first hour of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is the combination of the first two Lego Star Wars games (The Video Game and Original Trilogy) in what is an obvious attempt to sell more copies of the games and reach that same Star Wars audience that will only buy the DVDs when they're all available in one, giant box set. So basically we have all the levels from the first game, plus all the levels from the second game, plus some more (minor) stuff in case you already own the first two. I received this game for the Nintendo DS, which is essentially my platform of choice of late, and played the heck out of it for the last week and a half. And surprisingly, I loved every minute of it.
I'm not sure why it took so long for someone to realize that Legos are awesome, Star Wars is awesome, and video games are awesome, so why not put them all together. But it finally happened a few years ago and it was like my childhood fantasies were coming together for one last amazing adventure. Somehow though, I never played the first one (Episodes I-III) but got the chance to play The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). I thought the game was fun but short. The Complete Saga has allowed me to play the first game and replay the second, giving me a much more satisfying experience. It took me a solid 21.5 hours to achieve 100% completion and I'm a little sad to say goodbye. Thankfully though, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman are only a few months away... Now let's get to the review!