I would argue that above zombies, dinosaurs are probably the world’s most beloved sub-culture. From The Land Before Time extending to Jurassic Park, I argue that dinosaurs have maintained a special place in most everyone’s heart. The problem is that there has not been much love (or hate) for dinorsaurs in video games since the Turok series. The problem’s solution came with advent of Kickstarter. Spiral Game Studios has had the design for Orion started since 1998, but it wasn’t until their Kickstarter campaign for $10,000 that net almost $20k in over a year that they made some serious headway. They’ve released the game early on May 4th and will be continuing to update the game and produce more content for it. In fact, when I received my copy, I couldn’t even play it. It is running on the Unreal Development Kit and for some reason, mine kept crashing. So I sat by and was patient until the release when the forums would be up on Steam and more people would probably experience and fix the same problem I was having. I was correct in that assumption and ever since I did a small bcdedit on Windows to expand my virtual video memory, the game has worked. I am not going to say flawlessly, because inside the game there are certainly issues and I will point out the ones I’ve notice as I tell you more about the world of Orion: Dino Beatdown and all the dinosaurs I’ve killed.
Like an adventurer on a quest, we were sought out and eventually found in our unkempt chat room and were delivered the message of Dungeon Overlord. I have long since shot the messenger with an arrow to the knee and sent him to an early retirement. Of course, since then I have been stuck online like glue to rat fur playing my way through this new Facebook game from Night Owl Games.
Dungeon Overlord sets you as a dungeon keeper, starting you with a small lair deep in the mountains of the world. Of course, you are not alone as many other start in the same online world as you. Several other dungeons sit next to yours and hundreds of mountains and worlds exist. On the surface are townships and you evil leader are trying to conquer ALL of them. It is not often that a game puts you in the place of the megalomaniac evil villain role. Your first goal is to build up your dungeon and take down your nemesis that left you with just a few goblins to work with. This is the most clever way at a tutorial I have seen. Your first nemesis quest line gives you all the walk-throughs and rewards you could ever need to get started learning the game.
Soon you will be well on your way to understanding the mechanics of the game. How many goblins it takes to mine your ores and what tiles you need to build to upgrade a room. Resources do not come easy in this game and after attracting new minions you’ll need to send them to the surface to raid Elvish settlements in order to get the extra items you need. This will take time so sit back and look at what you can research next.
I know I am being vague about the game. It can be complex at times both to describe and play, yet the mechanics are simple enough that you will be finished with the tutorial mission in just a few days. I’ve been hooked on it for 3 weeks now and I can’t seem to find a reason to quit. It is just one of those perfect games that you can come back to time after time when you have a moment to check your Facebook. I honestly feel like I am so far behind from others who have already started well ahead of me. I’ve yet to join an alliance, but eventually I will be able to start one. I’m hoping I can rope my friends into playing and have them help harvest my farm and collect my gold for me. If I leave it laying about somebody might try to steal it from me. Luckily enough, I have one neighbor in my mountain that has called a truce with me and nobody else seems hostile yet.
Like a true evil genius, I am well on my way to claiming the mountain as my own and start charging rent. (Just like your parents will eventually due to your room.) For now, I am working towards my 20th level which will gain me my second chance at another dungeon and expand my empire even further. Night Owl Games has a FAQ if you need it and there is a forum available where people have shared tactics and knowledge if you want to learn more about the game. Check out the trailer below and then start playing at http://apps.facebook.com/dungeonoverlord. Warning!: This game is addictive and I will NOT be held responsible for your eventual unemployment due to playing at work nor any relationship dissolving. Play at your own caution!
The TV cartoon Ugly Americans tends to be one of my secret pleasures. If I spot it on, I’ll generally flip to it and watch the crazy antics of a guy trying to be a monster social worker. Not to mention the fact that it is kinda cool that his girlfriend is a demon. His co-worker is a wizard who more often than naught acts like a drunken stage magician (probably because more often than naught he IS drunk). Of course, I hadn’t realized just exactly I would be in for by picking up my PS3′s controller and firing up Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon.
A small intro plays that basically tells me that the world is doomed and I have to save it. Standard everyday crisis, right? Anyways, you’re given a weapon that fires anything you put into it and that means ANYTHING. Baseballs, paint-cans, tennis balls, and wrenches will all become your weapons of monster fighting destruction. My first case I took on, playing as Mark the social worker, was to stop the man birds. I made the mistake of playing this while in the company of my fiancee, who was promptly disgusted by the man birds. The man birds walk around flinging filth, dropping shit bombs and curse the daylight out of anyone in their presence. Such vulgarities as “suckmacoch” and others forced her to flee the room. Mission successful.
The graphics and auditory enhancements stay true to the series, as well it should. These are the same voice actors as the show has and I would be curious to know if the developer, 345 games, hired any of the animators to help. I question that simply because they nailed the animation style. The story line takes the same trepidations and offensiveness that the show puts out. Quite frankly, it is apparent that this is one of the secret pleasures that should stay secret in my household. I like that I don’t have to keep it secret if I have like minded friends, as the game allows for 4-players.
If you’re a fan of the show, this game is a must for you to get. Enjoy your zombie, demon, and man bird fighting either on PSN or XBLA for only $9.99. Simply put, if you don’t buy it I well send you a man bird to raise as your own and wreck havoc on your social life.*
*This offer is not valid as man birds do not exist, but you get the point!
Just this summer I sold off my old Tippman Custom 98 paintball marker. Even though it had an expandable stock, an expansion chamber with a drop down for the tank,and a response trigger and a cyclone feed system to properly push through balls; I still ended up selling it for $30. You see, I hadn’t been to a paintball course in years. I’ve forgotten what it is like to feel the sting of defeat while trying to doge and mark others. I just figured I was getting too old and fat to be crouching through the woods. Never in a million years have I ever considered giving a speed ball course a try. It seemed too fast paced for me, whereas I like to stalk my prey through the heavy brush. I would likely never have that experience again, if it wasn’t for Greg Hastings Paintball 2.
I find it interesting that before this game came, I spotted my former roommate playing a Greg Hasting’s game on his PS2. Interesting enough is the fact that Greg Hasting’s Paintball 2 is completely downloadable on PSN. I mean it shouldn’t surprise me so much as full games are downloadable, but what did surprise me is how small the game actually is. I wonder if the PS2 disc was actually full or not. I am unsure how big the sport is these days, it seems to be a pain junkie’s version of volleyball in regards to how far outside of mainstream sports it is, but how devoted the players and fans are. As the player progresses through the game, changes can be made to the roster which involves choosing actual professional paintball to add to your team. Heck, even if I was playing in a sport that wasn’t on prime time television, I would still clamor to get my face and stats into a video game. Also, I feel unsure if the average player would really care about the managerial side of things, such as buying a new roster or equipment, other than trying to buy a better marker with which to shoot. I myself rarely made any changes as I could not see the point. Though I did opt to purchase a different marker that had a slower fire rate, but a better accuracy and range. Even then, you’ll be making shots that have to be lobbed at an angle.
The matches themselves are fairly fun, even if the controls are non-standard for an fps. This is because there is quite a range of motion that is provided. Running and ducking throws you into a full dive and aiming while hiding will cause you to peak out from your cover. The option is available to switch which side of the marker your view is on in case you are on the other side of the inflatable cover you’ve hidden behind. While I did say the controls are non-standard, they are quite accurate. To me it seems you can perform most maneuvers a real professional would make. The only thing missing would be to lay on your back, but I don’t see other video games doing that either. I finally bought myself a move and tried a few matches out with it. The movement and aiming with the Move is excellent. I had to use a controller in my left hand as a replacement for the navigation controller, but I made due. I actually think I shot a little better using the Move, though it could be my imagination.
I certainly enjoyed this game, I tend to hit it up when I am sick of blood and gore in other games. The graphics are decent and I am glad that I could not spot a bit of cartoon appearances anywhere, as it would have spoiled the game for me. The management of the team certainly might appeal to some players, regardless of weather they follow the sport or not. I suppose if I go back and look into it, having better players on my team might increase my odds of winning matches, but I tend to be a lone wolf trying to take everyone out by myself. Of course, I myself rather enjoyed the woodsball. It seems this will be the only way to get me back on a field with a marker in hand. If you miss the nostalgic days of being beaten up by paint and would rather not remember the pain, why not give Greg Hastings Paintball 2 a try. It’s only $19.99 on the PlayStation Network and you can find it for the Wii or Xbox 360 for the same price if you look hard enough.
Now this is an awesome IPA from Brewdog, pours crisp and clean with hardly any head. It’s easy to gulp or sip if you prefer to enjoy your beer. Be careful this has an abv of 9.2% and with how light it is you could be falling down before you know it. First sip is of caramel malts then into the darker malt and hoppiness. It finishes crisp with a slight taste of booze.
This is a doppelbock, I didn’t just misspell the title. At 7.80% this sickeningly sweet doppel pours deep and dark. Lots of carmel and chocolate malt notes. Lots of muddy german hop notes. Tasty this is.
ESB’s are the new IPA’s and this is a fantastic representative. Tasty, floral like running your teeth through a field of hops. It’s bitter right up front and I like it. This copper colored ales has a fruity floral but bitter first sip has a tasty finish. This is something I would drink again. I got a growler and I’m going to get another.
I usually have nothing to say but nice things about these fellas, however I think this IPA misses the mark. It’s a decent beer but to me it really doesn’t have a lot of IPA characteristics other than having a lot of hops. It’s muddy a mixture of malts went into this and blurred the line on being an IPA. At 6% it’s a solid drinking all day mowing the lawn beer but if you’re looking for an IPA from Brewdog get the Hardcore IPA.
Is there beer in there? I’m not sure with all this head… This is a really nice Russian imperial stout, true to style it reeks of alcohol. This black/brown stout pours with massive foam but it is only lightly carbonated. Hints of cocoa and brown sugar give way to a pleasant wood flavor. This tastes and finishes a lot more boozy than 9.7% should but that’s a good thing. Dark beer fans rejoice this is a decent beer.
While I’m waiting for their new Darbee HDMI cable to become available for review, the lovely folks at Snakebyte suggested I pick another product to review in the meantime. So I perused their website trying to find something catch my eye. With a gasp and almost a girly squeal I spotted the item I just had to have. The item in question is obviously their Wii Premium Fitness Board. As an overweight individual, the Wii Fit Board was something that I have never experienced before. However, with Snakebyte’s Premium Fitness Board’s max of 390lbs, I was well on my way to giving it a shot. After shoving some batteries in I gave the board it’s first test. I stepped on with no Wii in sight to give the scale readout a trial. Yes, you heard me right. There is a digital readout built into the board to act as a scale. No more needing the Wii Fit app just to find out how much you weight that day.
Next I synced it to the Wii and watched as my Mii plumped up in the Wii Fit Plus menu. Here was the real test. Regardless of how much weight the board can handle, the Wii software only allows for so much. Honestly I am still boggled why Nintendo hates fat people, but such is life. On the first go around, I had success being measured and playing some of the Wii Fit Plus games. I gave it my best effort to jump as far as I could on the slopes. Running out of time for the night, I left the board in the capable hands of my 50 year old mother. (I stopped counting at 50.) I returned the next day to discover two things. First off, Wii Fit Plus was no longer letting me play, stating that I was over it’s weight capacities. How it allowed me the brief glimpse into it’s world the previous night, I’ll never know. Second, the Premium Board’s feet were sinking into the luscious downstairs carpet, throwing off the readings. Of course, had I read the instructions, I would have been warned about the dangers of carpet. I added a piece of cardboard to the mix and it corrected my oversight.
So I waited a few days, to let good old mom give the board a test. It came with some surprising results. In four days she had to replace the batteries twice. Not good. My guess is that the board stays on to display the scale. This is definitely a product flaw. I have to wonder if the Play and Charge kit they have for the original board works with their own creation. It certainly would be needed or you will be messing with batteries all the time. Now, if you’re wary of this battery vampire you can certainly buy this product for many other reasons. It is quite durable, or I never would have tried to step foot on it. This means for you lighter weighted players, you can give this board your all and never worry about damaging it. The price is excellent and it works just as well as the balance board Nintendo made. Now we just need a Wii Fit game that allows for heavier people. I’ll be working on downing my weight just so I can give this a try again. Meanwhile, I hope new purchasers of this board enjoy durability of their new product.