The First Hours of The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 – Faith

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Now there is a funny title, the first hours of a game that is 2 hours long…

Responsible for last year’s The Walking Dead videogame (the good one) TellTale has brought us a game in the same vein as the acclaimed zombie title but this time the subject at hand is completely different.

Based on  Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series, you play as Bigby, the big bad wolf from the old fairy tales and you are the sheriff of a small town where all the fables live. You’ll encounter snow white, the beauty and the beast and a few more well known characters in your quest to find a serial killer; that is the basic arc of your story.

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Where the game shines though is in its gameplay, its just like The Walking Dead game where you’ll spend most of your time choosing dialogue and searching the scenery for clues and things to click on (an allusion to the old adventure games). While simple, dialogue is masterfully presented along with great voice acting  that trully makes characters feel real and alive.

Just because you’ll be dealing with fables, do not presume this is a game for children as it touches on strong themes such as prostitution and foul language, making it a mature game and setting meant to be enjoyed by adults.

The visuals are also very appealing as they maintained the cell shaded feel of The Walking Dead game but also added a comic book touch, making it look a tad different from what we’ve previously seen. It looks better, in my honest opinion.

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As in their previous titles, you’ll be changing how the story unfolds as you approach each situation, principally in dialogues where it is up to you to act as a “big bad wolf” and smack people around being as rude as you can, or to be friendly and trying to avoid conflict altogether; albeit some of these changes tend to feel superfluous some look like they can have a strong influence in future episodes forcing you to make decisions such as arrest one guy and letting the other one get away.

The full game will feature 5 episodes total, released one at a time. This is merely a quick look at the first one, “Faith”  and I can proudly say it is a great experience that you should definitely try for yourself.

I’ll continue to follow this series and post articles on future episodes when they are released and i can I get my hands on them, until then, be sure to check this one out, especially if you liked TellTale’s previous games.

Innovation is Needed… Fifa 14

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A sports game in the blog? Yup folks, a sports game. I have played soccer games since I was a little boy when I played them on the Amiga 500, games and names I can’t even recall but I loved nonetheless, and it was always fun to enjoy them with my father.

Fifa 14 is a game that despite loving to play it, made me mad. With next gen right around the corner they decided to give PC players the “old” version, the one present in the PS3 and the XBOX 360. Why would they do such a thing I do not know, maybe the next gen version won’t be as good or maybe because they’re just dumb;  I didn’t forget what Fifa was on the PC up until the 2011 version (where they ported the 2010 console version with updated rosters), it was nothing more than the 2004 iteration of the game with slightly enhanced visuals… An insult to the franchise’s fanbase is all those games were up until 2011.

This year, EA Sports presents us with yet another entry in the famous soccer franchise, do I like it? Definitely. Then why am I complaining? Because the game is, at its core, the same as last year. I am aware that when you make one game per year in one franchise you can’t take the time to do something special and end up with a game that is essentially the same with a few tweaks and minor quirks… This is far from ideal and is destroying the Industry bit by bit. Sports games have been doing this since the dawn of videogames but I’m going beyond that and looking at games like, you know it, Assassin’s creed and Call of Duty. Always the same with little to no innovation…

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But if there is one thing I love is that Fifa is so much fun when you play it online, its utterly different to play against human opponents than the AI, I find myself wanting to try the career mode as a coach but the Seasons online mode is so much more compelling… Its way more simple than the single player career but there isn’t anything more rewarding than besting real opponents online by knowing what you’re doing.

When all is said and done, it saddens me to see the Gaming Industry going this route and although Fifa is a great game, it lacks any sort of innovation and ends up giving players the same experience as Fifa 13, with only a few new animations and a smoother experience overall. It surely isn’t enough and players should speak out against this plague in the videogame world. If you want to make sports game each year, don’t, make them biennial and in the year you won’t release a new entry just make a roster update and sell it as DLC for half the price! You would end up making less money in that year but you would have 2 years per game to work on new things and explore new possibilities… And we all know Electronic Arts has the financial structure to support something along these lines. 

The First Hours of Faster Than Light

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After a month of forced vacation (my gaming laptop died on me) I’m back and boy have I got things to say!

Faster than Light (FTL) is another one of those games I bought in the amazing Indie bundles around the Internet, its a real time  strategy game, developed by Subset Games and sold only via digital distribution platforms such as Valve’s steam.

The game was released in September 2012, was met with good reviews and it swept the internet thanks to the popularity of websites such as YouTube and its millions of followers. It features some rogue like elements and stands as a great example of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The first thing I want to mention is the game’s beautiful soundtrack, as soon as I’ve heard it, I knew I had to buy it online! Its soothing and has a particularly simple yet charming tone to it, invoking the wonder of traversing the unknown perfectly. A huge shout out to Ben Prunty, the game’s composer who did such an amazing job.

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For the record, I didn’t manage to beat the game (yet) but I’ve manage to reach the final level and got obliterated, on easy mode none the less… I’m working on it though, cof. The game’s mechanics are fairly simple, you start off with a small crew that you can build up to a maximum of 8 members, and your only purpose is to escape your pursuers and reach safe haven. You go through several star systems, some friendly, some not as much and then you die… Yup, in this game you’ll die, A LOT! And I don’t mean the game is difficult, it’s just unfair. Luck is a factor than albeit being present in most things, governs the greater part of this game. You’ll be seeing a lot of text boxes (Random Events) that in themselves constitute the game’s backbone, in these events you will have to choose an action to take such as helping a ship that is under attack or just let them be and avoid a fight altogether, each having their own advantages, do you prefer to be the hero and maybe die trying to save a few strangers or just continue on your merry way and live another day? Maybe you need supplies and that enemy ship that hasn’t spot you has a lot of them just waiting for you… It’s up to you to decide how to tackle each event. 

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When you get yourself in trouble, and trust me, you will get into a lot of it, you’ll be presented with strategic space battles where have to control your crew by using the mouse, have them man their stations and choose what systems to attack in the enemy ship and what weapons to attack them with; there are missiles, lasers, bombs and beams  that you can use to take your targets down! If you want to take the battle to your enemies, you can teleport your crew into their ship and eliminate the threat from the inside (you can also be boarded though). There is also an assortment of droids that can do anything from attacking your enemies to repair your ship during battles!

Despite being easy to understand, FTL has a lot to offer and a lot of little things you’ll find out the more you play it, it is very unique and if you like strategy and sci fi be sure to check it out!