Saturday, November 23, 2013

RAGE Review

I got to play RAGE when it was available for free last weekend, and it sucked.
RAGE is a scripted rail-shooter by id Software that tries to be Borderland.

That game have such bad game design, it amazed me.

Invisible walls EVERYWHERE
If I want to jump over a fence, let me jump over a fence! I know falling is dangerous! This totalitarian, limiting game design that "knows better" than the gamer is awful!
Let me make mistakes! Give me the freedom to be wrong! That's part of a game!

Boring shooting gallery combat
Enemies just camp on their spot. I can stand behind a wall forever and no one will try to get me.
All the combat scenarios are scripted. You can't sneak up on enemies. You can't flank. You can't avoid encounters. You can't do fucking shit but just standing and shooting almost static targets.

Boring unskippable "story"
I don't care about the vapid speeches the NPCs have for me. I want to get to the action! Let me skip that bullshit!
You want me to shoot some bandits? Cool! Just shut the fuck up and give me the gun.
Also the second mission was an errand missions. Errand missions are clear indication of a shitty game design, made by a "game designer" that doesn't know shit.

Flawed music system
The music loop just jumps back to the beginning when it reaches the end.
If you can't figure out how to make seamless music loops at least use fade in and out!

Can't pick up weapons
What the FUCK!? Why can't I just pick up a gun and use it!? Why do I have to complete a mission to get one!?
At this point I quit the game and delete it. About 30 minutes in. This is too much bullshit to keep up with.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Road Rash 95 On Windows 7

Road Rash have been one of my favorite childhood games.
I spent hours running over old ladies and kicking bikers off their bike.

Here's a download which include a fix to run the game in Windows 7:

Make sure you run "RASH.REG" once to be able to launch the game.

If you're having issues with the game's colors, start the game with "start.bat".

By the way, the game has multiplayer! Under "game mode" select "Mano-a-mano" and play with a friend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Install and Run Enemy Nations on Windows 7

Enemy Nations is a real-time strategy game, created by Windward Studios.
The game is officially free, and available to download from here.
But in order to install it and run it properly on Windows 7, there are several things you need to do first.

Step 1: Extract the .RAR file
After you downloaded Enemy Nations, extract the .RAR's content into a folder

Step 2: Make a Disc Image
The game requires you to enter a CD in order to play it, but the download is a .RAR file.
There are two options: burn the .RAR's content into a CD, or make a disc image from it.

To make a disc image from the folder that contains the .RAR's content, we'll use a program called "Folder2Iso". You can download Folder2Iso from here.
Folder2Iso is very simple. Select a folder which you want to make an .iso file out of, and select where to save the .iso file.

After you've created an disc image of the game, mount it using a virtual drive.
Daemon Tools Lite is a free virtual drive software which you can download from here.

Step 3: Copy The DLL Files
Inside the game's folder there's a folder named "DLLs".
I'll assume your game folder uses the same name as the .RAR, "EnemyNations2".
We need to copy all the DLLs from the DLLs folder to the main game folder, except the one in "EnemyNations2\DLLs\Win32\winnt".
To be more specific:
Copy all the DLLs from "EnemyNations2\DLLs" to "EnemyNations2".
Copy all the DLLS from "EnemyNations2\DLLs\Win32" to "EnemyNations2".
Copy the DLL from "EnemyNations2\DLLs\Win32\win95" to "EnemyNations2".

Step 4: Run in Windows XP Compatibility Mode
Go to the game's folder.
Right click "ENations.exe"
Select "Properties".
Select the "Compatibility" tab.
Enable "Run this program in compatibility mode for:".
Select "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)".

That's it!
To play the game run "ENations.exe".
You must mount the CD in order to play the game.

Note: you DON'T need to run the game's setup.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review

The first and third X-COM games, UFO: Enemy Unknown and X-COM: Apocalypse, are my favorite strategy games.
When XCOM: Enemy Unknown came out I wasn't hyped about it, because I knew these are different developers and that they will "dumb down" the game in order to reach bigger audience (Couldn't be more right about that one)

This weekend I gave XCOM: Enemy Unknown a shot, and it lived up to my expectations. It sucked.
My first impression was good, there were cutscenes that helped to build up the story, and units had visual customization, cartoonish aesthetics to avoid the uncanny valley, and the combat was nice - only at the beginning.

I noticed that when you start a game you can choose to play in ironman mode, which means you can't go back to previous saves of the game.
Reloading a save in a battle could let the player retry to hit enemies, and avoid casualties.
From a game design perspective, if a player find finds himself constantly saving and reloading every time a soldier dies or misses a shot, he might as well use cheats to get 100% accuracy and infinite HP.
This means that I'm going to play with ironman mode on, and on classic difficulty.

At first it was all nice, I had my soldiers, I won some missions flawlessly, they ranked up, everything was nice so far. Eventually my veteran soldiers died, and they had to be replaced with rookies.
And this is where the game critically fails.
While the difficulty raised up to the point where every encounter have at least 10 aliens, and they include tough aliens, like the Muton, it became impossible to win missions.
Every single time I had to fight with 5 (got an upgrade to the squad size) soldiers that can't hit a target from 6 feet away, and have low HP which means they died from 1-2 hits.
Every time I faced at least 10 aliens which hit my soldiers 90% of the time from any range, have stronger weapons, and some of them had more HP.
I tried to use grenades because they always hit, but I'm limited to one per soldier and they for some reason weaker then a rifle. so it didn't help much.
I got to a point which the enemy have more firepower, more units, more health, and more accuracy then me, so it became practically impossible to win a mission, and I couldn't do anything about it.

Let me repeat myself, "I couldn't do anything about it". That's why this game sucks. And I can't do anything about it because of the dumbing down. The whole point of the dumbing down is to minimize the number of options you have for each decision in order to make it easy. This game was so dumbed down so you basically don't have a decision to make anymore.
In UFO: Enemy Unknown, if my soldier has low accuracy, I could take an aimed shot to make up for it. A feature that was removed in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
In UFO: Enemy Unknown, I could give any soldier any weapon. In XCOM: Enemy Unknown weapons are class restricted.
In UFO: Enemy Unknown, I could arrange my soldier's inventory, So for example I could take as many grenades or rockets as a soldier can carry. A feature that was removed in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
In UFO: Enemy Unknown, If I lost my best soldiers, I could make up for it by bringing up to 16 soldiers to every mission. A feature that was removed in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and apparently you need to need to research how to make more than 4 soldiers sit down in a aircraft.
In UFO: Enemy Unknown, I could sell stuff I manufacture, and generate additional, important, income. A feature that was removed in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
Also, in X-COM: Apocalypse you have training facilities, which let you improve your "spare soldiers" while you don't use them for missions.

As you can see, a lot of features were dumbed down and removed in order to keep the game simple. Simple and broken.
But hey, at least you can make your soldiers look cool, right? After all the soldier customization is the most complex system in the game.