Monthly Archives: January 2016

This War of Mine: The Little Ones — A Game that must be Played

Some games are more important than others. This War of Mine: The Little Ones is an important game.

The game is out on PS4 and Xbox One on January 29th, 2016, and it introduces us to a side of war that often makes us turn the channel if we so happen to see it on CNN. Yep, kids in war.

Buy it here:

Kids are helpless, but they are also the most resilient. Kids will find ways to laugh and play even during the bleakest of times. When I read stories about these children, I’m deeply moved but also lifted. I hope this game, as does a true art piece, takes us through that similar emotional journey.

I’ve often asked myself, “How would I perform in battle as a soldier?” I hope that I wouldn’t cower, but that’s something I will never know at my age, living where I do. There’s a very good chance, however, that I could be an adult caring for a child in the middle of war. Living in Silicon Valley, the chances are slim, but I often visit relatives in Seoul, South Korea. And you never know, one trip to the in-laws could result in months of siege warfare if North Korea goes mad.

this war of mine little ones video game

If my son was with me, of course, I’ll die protecting him. But what if it was some other kid? A kid that is just as helpless and desperate to survive. Would I risk my life for that child? Would I give him a piece of my bread, or risk discovery by harboring her?

Those are some of the questions that this game will ask. And those are questions that dig deep into the core of a person’s character.

So, yes, this game is important. And one that hopefully will have much more exposure now that it’s out on consoles.

Fable Legends Heroes of Albion Trailer — Winter is here!

Winter is coming. And she’s not messing around.

The Ice Mage, aptly named, Winter, is the star of the latest trailer for Fable Legends. As her name suggests, Winter uses ice to vanquish her foes. She freezes them so that her mates can shatter them to little pieces. The trailer shows different ways in which she freezes them. This way, that way…does it really matter? She freezes them, and then she freezes them…again and again for the full two minutes of the trailer.

Another thing that the good folks at Lionhead find it important to tells us…repeatedly…is that she’s a party girl. She’ll either party with you or she’ll freeze you. Fun!

Fable Legends is part of the Fable series. Yes, the same fable that goes back to the original Xbox. Yes, the same fable where you can marry…multiple times. A wife in every village, actually. And no wife knows about the other wives. Bad, bad hero!

Fable Legends in an F2P (boo!!!). It’s a cooperative RPG (yay!!!). It takes place hundreds of years before the first Fable (double yay!!!). There’s more magic than technology, which is always a…yay!

Back to Winter. What does she look like? She looks like a really annoying babysitter. Yes, the kind of babysitter you get stuck with when your favorite babysitter is studying for an exam. She pops her gum and video chats while your kids jump off the walls after finishing off a tub of chocolate ice cream.

Well, at least be thankful babysitters can’t freeze you if you short pay her a couple bucks.

Fable Legends is out sometime in 2016 to Xbox One and Windows.

Madden Mobile — Is Force Closing cheating?

I’m sure many of us Madden Mobile veterans are tired of the force closing issue but it seems to keep coming back, and like an old piece of gum, can’t spit it out even though it’s lost all flavor.

I just left a league because of force closing. I liked the league. We were top 200 and moving up. I got Rice from it. Smith and Hester weren’t far. It was competitive but not cut throat. Overall, “NIGHTMARE on Madden” is a good league.

But some of the players started advocating force closing and the commissioner allowed it. You can see the exchange below.

I’m not Captain Ethics, but any kind of cheating — doesn’t matter if it’s a mobile F2P or Enron – it’s lame and I refuse to be part of it.

madde mobile 16 force close

madde mobile 16 force close

madde mobile 16 force close

madde mobile 16 force close

madde mobile 16 force close

What is Force Closing?

Force closing (AKA forceclosing, forclosing or foreclosing), is closing the Madden Mobile app to prevent a negative outcome. For example, you throw an interception and to prevent a pick 6, you shut down the app. When you restart, it’s like that pick never happened and you get a free re-do.

I’ve never actually tried it so I don’t know all the techniques, and don’t care to learn. Electronic Arts (EA) made some improvements between Madden Mobile 15 and 16 to reduce force closing, but EA apparently can’t eliminate it completely.

But just because it’s technically possible, it does not mean it’s okay to do it. You can drive through a red light, but you shouldn’t do it. You can talk trash during league tournaments, but there’s a line you shouldn’t cross.

Is Force Closing Cheating?

Yes, yes, and yes. Force closing IS cheating. Period.

In Head-to-Head (H2H) and Tournament play…definitely. You are preventing the opponent from scoring extra points.

Is it okay to Force Close during Season games and Live Events?

No, it’s not!

Some have said it’s okay to force close during Domination. I know the Domination Live Event is a pain in the rear, and at 10 stamina, very expensive. But to force close in a live event is CHEATING. There are many players who got Domination Gronk without cheating. The reward for playing the live event, without cheating, is a Gronkowski special card rated 99 – an end-card Tight End, if you will. Why would it be fair to play an opponent who got 99 Gronk by cheating?

How do you recognize force closers?

Look at the film after a H2H or Tournament game. If you see a simple, “Turnover,” without a play and yardage, then they force closed after throwing a pick or fumbling. If it simply says, “No Play,” then they force closed before a turnover.

Here’s a recent H2H game. The opponent, d1bound.dev24, clearly force closed on his 4th drive. I eventually won this game 6-3, but it should have been 12-3 going into his 6th drive. In other words, up by 9 points, his 6th drive wouldn’t have mattered. But because he force closed, it game him an opportunity to beat me.

madden mobile video game

This opponent force closed on his 4th drive to prevent a pick 6.

madden mobile video game

I should have won this game 12-3, but because he force closed, I could have lost 10-6.

You might sometimes see the above after a Network Timeout (NTO), but if it recurs in file, it’s probably a force closer.

I won’t force close, but should I care that others do?

Yes!

I’m currently ranked #75 overall on the H2H leaderboards (gamequiche). I might be higher, though, if it weren’t for force closers. That annoys me and I’m not going to be part of a league that condones it.

Madden Mobile is the best F2P, and I plan on playing it every year. But if cheaters dominate, then it’s time to look elsewhere.

So, all you honest Madden Mobile players out there: DO NOT tolerate force closers!!!

madden mobile 16 force close

Far Cry Primal — Takkar Trailer: Don’t get Extinct

Buy the game here:

Ah, the Stone Age…. Mammoths, sabretooth tigers, and tribes of strange hunting-gathering two-legged creatures. The good old days.

Wish you were born during the Stone Age? Wanna roast some mammoth burgers over an open fire? Now you can! Far Cry Primal will take you there.

The new trailer introduces us to Takkar, the hero of our adventure back in time. He’s definitely more hunter than gatherer. In fact, he’s the lone survivor of a hunting-trip gone horribly wrong. His tribe is desolated and he’s got to survive, any way he can.

What’s at stake?

Extinction of the species.

Dead Mammoth = BBQ buffet!

Dead Mammoth = BBQ buffet!

The cinematic trailer shows us a green pristine world completely thawed-out of the Ice Age. Resources look aplenty, but technology sucks, and so it’s hard-core Darwinism as every creature on Earth tries to plant roots.

There’s tribal warfare and wild animal attacks – all brutal. (Something tells me this game will be a bit violent.) We also get religious antics and really awesome masks.

People are not yet the dominant species. Smarter than the average monkey, but weak and slow. Easy snack for a big cat. Do everything right, use that big over-sized brain, and Takkar’s journey will take us down the road of apex-dom.

Happy trails!

The Ubisoft game is out on February 23, 2016.

Darkest Dungeon Release Trailer – Human Resources will love this game!

Build team chemistry, keep folks happy, maximize return on labor, and most of all, don’t let anyone run away. That’s basically what human resources is all about. It also makes for a good dungeon crawler.

It was less than two years ago that Red Hook’s Darkest Dungeon killed it on Kickstarter. Now, it’s here, and with it, great rewards…or a trip to the shrink’s couch. The big sell here is that your dungeon crawlers are affected psychologically by the craziness of dungeon crawling.

darkest dungeon video game

If they reach a breaking point, they could be detrimental to your team, just like a broken soldier could lose you an entire battle. If guys get beat up too much, see comrades get hurt, or simply face too many zombies, then your brave warriors and wizards might not be so brave anymore. In fact, they might break and freak out. This could be the first game that deals with PDSD (Post Dungeon Stress Disorder).

Like a good general manager, you have to assemble the right team, not only hard skills, but psychologically to minimize the freak-out factor. Remember Jagged Alliance? In JA, you had to hire mercs who liked each other. If they didn’t, they refused to fight for you. And when some dudes saw a pal get whacked, they would totally freak out. Darkest Dungeon is like that, but it’s a dungeon crawler.

Worth checking out. Get it on Steam.

Ratchet & Clank Trailer — Drop your weapon or you will be pixelized!

Our favorite Lombax is back in action. That is, of course, Ratchet and his trusty sidekick, Clank. Like Kato, Clank often outshines his super-hero lead, and the trailer for the redux proves it.

The game is Ratchet & Clank, out this Spring, which will accompany the release of the new movie called, “Ratchet & Clank”, out in April, which is based on the 2002 game called…Ratchet & Clank.

It’s a hybrid-ish action-adventure game. The gameplay includes third-person shooter, Starfox-like dogfights, racing, epic boss battles, and even some side-scrolling action. There’s also some puzzle-solving, which bring us back to Clank, the awesome robot.

ratchet and clank video game

He’s small but full of surprises. Big gap, no bridge? No problem. Clank is the bridge! In more ways than one.

The trailer also showcases some awesome weapons like one gun that destroys everything. A destroy-everything-gun is always cool. The game also features the best weapon of all…. The Pixelizer, which turns enemies into pixelated versions. Don’t mess with R&C or they will pixelize you!

The game’s out in Spring 2016 to PS4.

ratchet and clank video game

Homeworld Deserts of Kharak Trailer — Aircraft carriers in the desert?

In a desert world, one has to master the desert. Sounds logical, but then, high-tech space travel is possible…so why would you need a desert aircraft carrier?

That’s my first thought while watching the new trailer for Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. The prequel to 1999’s Homeworld, the real time strategy game is based on land. There’s aerial combat (hence the carrier), and hyper-space travel as seen at 1:13 of the trailer. If that level of technology is available, why couldn’t you just drop down from space instead of basing your air units on a large slow-moving easy-to-kill aircraft carrier? You could probably destroy those aircraft carriers from space. And how mobile are they anyway?  Won’t it sink?  Will it be able to traverse over loose sand?  Why do fighter planes of the future even need a runway?

homeworld deserts of kharak video game

That carrier is asking to get blown up.

Overall, though, the game seems highly engaging.

The plot is simple. There’s a “Primary Anomaly” (AKA crashed star cruiser with cool stuff on board) and your mission is go get it. Again, take your tortoise (AKA desert aircraft carrier) and move on out. It’s RTS, like Command and Conquer, so build stuff, make units, fight, protect, destroy. Yay!

homeworld deserts of kharak video game

Second thought that came to mind while watching the trailer is of course, Dune. The YouTube blurb says, “Before you can find your Homeworld, you must first unlock the secrets of the desert”. Cool, what secrets? Is there some supernatural stuff like in Dune? Worms, perhaps?

We’ll find out on January 20, 2016. Coming to Steam/Windows.

Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 2 Story Teaser Trailer – The Crack is Here!

Winter is definitely here. And so is the crack!  The Story Teaser for Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 2 says so. Yep, it’s a big dark shadow engulfing Eora. According to the trailer, it’s a crack in the White March. The twist? It’s a huge freaking army!

An army of dudes without faces. The narrator says he wakes up shaking. That’s a teaser for you.

Part 2 of the expansion for the Kickstarted RPG promises to take us deep into the Eastern Reach. In addition to new features, including what the developers call a “Story Time” mode, players get answers to questions. I love answers to questions!

The biggest draw to Pillars of Eternity, and games like it, is the real-time-with-pause tactical gameplay. I prefer it to real-time or turn-based only games because it keeps things moving but also offers a wider range of options during battles. Combine that with an intense storyline and the intriguing setting, and it’s definitely a game worth playing.

Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 2 is out February 16, 2016 to Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Tap Tycoon Review — Real Cash for Fake Cash?

Game Experience: Low

Game Value: Medium

Total Score: 3 out of 6

Quiche’s Recommendation: More fun ways to make money…

Let’s make more money! No, that’s not a New Year’s resolution, it’s Tap Tycoon, where tapping the screen makes it flow green.

tap tycoon video game

What’s the draw of this new mobile F2P? The goal is to make money, lots of it. But of course, it’s not about greed here. The noble purpose is to help strengthen the economy, which will in turn strengthen your nation so that it can dominate the world. If this was real, all that cash will probably end up in your pocket or some off-shore account, but let’s not think that way. We’re good people – this is about helping your nation become great…again.

As mentioned, you make cash by tapping the screen. Upgrades allow you to make more cash per tap. You also buy businesses and upgrade them, which bring in more cash. Once you’ve got a few businesses flowing green, you’re on your way to becoming a true conglomerate. Of course, the game’s developers are not completely altruistic, either – so the capitalists ask you to spend real money to buy diamonds which will help you make in-game money. Yep, that’s right: spend real money to make fake money.

tap tycoon video game

There are other features such as:

Global War: country vs country tournaments.

Sending Troops: earned by playing the game. Helps you with global wars.

Global Leaderboards: how do you stack up against other players?

And a few others.

Is the game fun?

It would be if we’re talking about real cash. And if there was some level of strategy involved. Sure, you have to figure out which buildings to buy and upgrade and so on, but the game’s really about tapping that screen and then tapping it some more until your wrists get tired. Upgrading and coming back few times a day to collect on your investments are also required. If there were more monopoly elements such as taking over other players’ businesses and so on, then maybe there could be something here. But as is, not enough gameplay to wow.

tap tycoon video game