Jagged Alliance: Pseudo-Preview

I have just recently discovered excellent news.  For anyone who may be fans of the Jagged Alliance series of computer games, apparently BitComposer Games and Kalypso Media have gotten the rights to the series.

As such, they have made a new game which will come out on February 14, just a few days away.  It is a graphically improved retelling of the original Jagged Alliance 2, which I’m perfectly fine with.

It also has a new system, it’s no longer turn-based strategy; it is now real-time strategy.  But you can pause it and issue commands in a tactical mode which lets you assess your squad-members, the viewable enemies, the terrain, etc.  The actions you command your squad members to perform will then be carried out in sequence, you can even link events together, like waiting for someone to shoot before moving ahead to draw a guard’s attention, or having two guys move into position and to pincer an enemy and coordinating their shots to make sure both are in position, first.

It sounds like a really good improvement…sadly my computer’s graphics card seems to be the bane of my existence right now and I’m having trouble running the demo.  So, I’m looking for an improved graphics card and will try to get one in this chittering box beside me very soon.

At that point expect an actual preview about the game and hopefully I’ll get Kalypso Media’s attention and get a free review copy (yeah right).

~RCS

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Mount&Blade: Friggin’ Finally!

So, I finally got Mount and Blade: Warband and not only that, but Total War: Shogun 2 showed up on the same day!  Unable to decide which on I wanted to play first, I left it up to my fiancée.  She told me to play Shogun first, so I did.

Little did she realize, both Warband and Shogun are computer games.  She thought she had one-upped me by getting me to play a console game, when in reality they’re both computer games.

So we still have to share the computer so that she can play her Facebook games and play Gaia Online.  So needless to say, I didn’t get to play it at the first opportunity.  She had a bunch of stuff to do in retaliation for being attacked by someone in this little Backyard Monsters game that she plays on Gaia.

I mentioned that her defenses looked a little week and spread thin and that was probably the reason the guy who had attacked her had done so well.  So she decided to hire an Independent Military Contractor to help rearrange her base: Me.

I instructed her on where to put her buildings, arranging her resource-producing buildings in a ring around her base’s central command center.  I told her that the resource buildings will act as the last-line of defense against losing her command center, which basically results in immediate defeat.

At that point we put her long-range defensive towers in amongst the resource buildings, which confused her.  She asked why the stronger and longer-range weapons weren’t put out on the last line of defense where they could shoot at things before they even made it into the facility.

I told her that they could shoot over the things placed in front of them, so the buildings we put in front of the long-range defensive towers, like the short-range cannon towers, will act as a wall before the enemy can take out that sniper cannon tower.

With the towers in place to protect the inner, and outer, buildings of the base…we placed the tertiary buildings such as her monster hatchery that produces monsters and the housing where they are kept (monsters are attack-only, they just get killed when the base is attacked for some reason, rather than defend it), and her catapult to fling monsters at an enemy to attack them.  All things she doesn’t need to rebuild the base if it is damaged, all mostly offensive buildings: If the base is damaged, we can still fix it but can’t attack.  Unlike when I came in where she was screwed and struggling to rebuild the damaged parts to full efficiency.

Then we placed a surrounding wall around all the buildings and put the short-range cannons along this wall.  Unfortunately a cap limit on how many sections of wall you can build left an opening surrounding her housing, making them prime targets for an attack.

So we mined it with a bunch of booby traps.  People will send their monsters in to attack through the open angle and get laid to waste by the covering fire of a cannon, a sniper tower, an electro-shock rail gun kind of tower, and a bunch of land mines.

She has since fought off three attacks with minimal to no damage and laid waste to the guy who attacked her three times, leveling up to the #2 ranking among her friend’s list (she was struggling in fourth and trying to reclaim third place when I started to help her).

With all that done…I started my installation of Shogun at a little after 2 in the morning.  First it installed Steam and forced me to make a Steam account.  Then I had to restart the disc to get it to install the actual game.

It told me the installation would take 29 minutes.  So I spent some time with my little wifey woman reading Black Bird with her, and then went back to the computer just as it said to put Disc 2 in.  I switched discs and it told me it would be another 19 minutes…so I bothered my sweetie-pie a little more.

Finally it was all done and I tried to start the game, at which point it told it had to download an update and it would take 11 minutes.  So I let the wife play her little Backyard Monster game again for a bit while it downloaded in the background.

By the time everything was said and done…it was a quarter ‘till four in the morning.  I started the game up and only then realized: Nope, I’m in more of a Warband mood, anyway.

So…at about five after four in the morning, I installed Warband.  That took about fifteen seconds.  Then I went to bed…maybe tonight I’ll actually get to play something.

~RCS

Mount & Blade: Redux

Once again, I have purchased Mount&Blade: Warband, this time from Amazon.com.  Along with it, I also purchased Total War: Shogun 2.  I loved the first game and a revamped and improved edition is just up my alley.  Hell, one of the big reasons I wanted to upgrade from the regular Mount&Blade to Warband is because of a Samurai mod for Warband.

We’ll see how well these two attempts work out and we’ll see which one gets here first.  My money’s on Shogun, because I’ve already gotten the shipping confirmation, but it’s still too early to tell for sure.

~RCS

Mount&Blade: Refund

I can hardly believe it!  I complained to the seller that sent me Penumbra: Black Plague instead of Mount&Blade: Warband (because they sound so similar, after all) and you know the crazy thing?  They didn’t ask me any questions, no clarifications, admittedly no formal apology either, but that’s okay.  Why am I okay with it all?  The man who has a list of companies he hates on his flash drive so that he can always remember if there’s anyone in the world he doesn’t want to do business with, even if he suffers from trauma-induced amnesia.

Because they didn’t fight me about it, they didn’t even ask me to send the wrong game back.  They just refunded my money and let it go.  And I’m okay with that.  I may even break Penumbra open and give it a play through.  I wasn’t that interested in it when I received it (naturally) or even when I read the box.  But when I described it to you fine people as a mix between F.E.A.R. (a series of games I really like, especially the first one) and Alan Wake (a game that sounds like a game I would like, even though I’ve never had the luxury of playing it), I thought about what that meant…and decided I kind of wanted to play it.

Not right now though, I still have a new copy of Mount&Blade: Warband coming.  I shall update on when it comes…or if it takes too long and I start playing the copy of Warcraft III: Battle Chest Edition that I got from the Walmart clearance bin yesterday.

~RCS

Mount&Blade

I was shopping at a Half Price Books store and came across a section where they had computer games.  One of them sounded really cool and it was only $6, so I decided, after two hours of roaming the store and buying $60 worth of books, to go ahead and get the game.

Needless to say I haven’t read any of the books.  I have, however, played the game almost non-stop for the past three weeks.  The game is called Mount&Blade.  It’s ridiculously enjoyable to me.

You create your own character and must do…umm…well, whatever you want.  That’s right, it’s a completely sandbox game.  There’s no linear storyline, there isn’t even an overarching storyline.

There are character stories in the game though, and numerous quests and goals you can make for yourself.  You can create your own nation, become a mercenary, become a merchant, become a professional tournament fighter, become a bandit, become the loyal knight of a king, or become the rebellious knight of a claimant to the king’s throne.

You can play as a warrior, an archer, a general, a useless clod who hides behind the human meat shields he or she has hired…however you want to do it.

I’ve gone so far as to purchase the stand-alone expansion pack for it called Mount&Blade: Warband.  It has new features like…courting and marrying noble ladies, holding feasts, and putting your chosen heroes in control of the regions you’ve conquered.

This game is what Fable wishes it was.  Peter Molyneaux and a team of developers and programmers dream about Mount&Blade in their sleep, and this game was made primarily by a Turkish husband and wife team.  That’s right…two programmers and a handful of designers, composers, and writers.  Their whole company only had about 8 employees.

I’d love to be a designer or even just a writer for Tale Worlds Entertainment, the company that makes Mount&Blade.

But for now I’ll just settle for that copy of Warband that I bought and should have arriving in a couple weeks.

~RCS

 Drooling with anticipation…or hunger.

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