The reapers have come, can you take Earth back? Find out on March 8 when Mass Effect 3 drops into a store near you.
First, a quick story.
Last year I was doing a multimedia course, of which, one of the subjects was game design. Although the class was extremely limited (in fact, my skills and knowledge were already beyond the scope of the class – epic boast?) it is the one I paid most attention in. Our major assignment was to produce a game (go figure) and Muklu’s Wrath is that result. I was originally working on a sidescrolling platformer, but a HDD failure caused a month’s worth of work to be vaporised in an instant, so I scrapped that in favour of a JRPG inspired game.
Tome of Eight Souls is an original high setting by myself and Iovan, which is the setting used for Muklu’s Wrath. Work on the setting itself has been on hiatus for some time (several months) due to various other more pressing commitments, but if you are interested in scratching around, you can go here. Anyway, back to the game itself. It is essentially a demo, with several hours worth of gameplay. Given the timeframe I had to work in and being the only person working on it, I’m quite proud of what I am accomplished.
Although, given the chance to go back, I’d do a lot of things differently and perhaps accomplish more. But that is here nor there. I originally had the game files hosted on this server (practically at the time) while doing play testing, but then removed it after I had submitted the final version to my teacher. Between then and now I had gotten several requests to be able to download the game again and have a go, so I’ve re-uploaded it else where. The file can be downloaded here. It’ll only run on Windows PCs.
- Download the file above.
- Double click the executable archive (You may get a virus warning – don’t worry, it isn’t) and extract the files where ever you want them.
- Go to where you extracted the TESRPG folder.
- Double click the Game icon – the one with the horse chess piece image next to it, to fire up to game.
- Z on the keyboard lets you interact with NPCs/objects. Also confirm in menu
- X on the keyboard opens the menu and is also cancel/go back.
- Alt + Enter will make the game go fullscreen.
- Arrow keys are for movement.
- Holding down shift (in certain areas) while moving allows character to dash.
I shall be leaving it up indefinitely, for anyone that wants to give it a try. I can’t promise that I’ll ever finish it, but we’ll see. If I do, it’ll definitely be starting from scratch for a number of reasons.
So, if you’re not aware about the Mass Effect series, the games allow you to play Commander Shepard as either a male or female, depending on your preferences. And over the years, the female Shepard, voiced by Jennifer Hale, has become somewhat of a fan favourite amongst the Mass Effect community. Disappointed by the lack of emphasis on Femshep (As dubbed by the ME community!) in Mass Effect 3’s promotions, one fan set out to make her own trailer, which you can see here.
And now BioWare have taken note at just how popular Femshep is with their fanbase and have released the above official trailer!
Every now and again, JB Hifi (An Australian retailer for those of you who are outside of Australia) employees have been known to display funny reviews of games they are selling in their stores. This image below, which was sent in to Kotaku AU by NovaCascade, shows off the review done by one of JB Hifi’s employees for Skyward Sword, the latest game in the Legend of Zelda franchise.
(Via Kotaku AU)
The newest Forza Motorsport 4 DLC pack is available starting today and features 10 new cars for avid race fans to drive around in. The DLC pack weighs in at 560 Microsoft points or if you purchased the Season Pass, it is free.
The following cars make up the pack:
2011 #2 Audi Sport North America R18 TDI: Featuring a closed cockpit design (the first such Audi Le Mans car fielded in more than 10 years), the R18 is a marvel of modern racing design. Featuring a lighter materials and a premium on aerodynamic efficiency, it’s little wonder the R18 TDI brought home top honors during the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans.
2011 Panoz #050 Panoz Racing Abruzzi: A five hundred horsepower engine that will feel right at home tearing down the straights of Le Mans, the Panoz Racing Abruzzi’s tusk-like front end marries unique styling with impressive performance.
2010 Dodge Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Challenger SRT8: Owned by UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, this 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is one of the most aggressive-looking cars ever seen in the Forza Motorsport series. With red and black rims that need to be seen to be believed, this Challenger will turn heads in Forza 4 the moment the race begins.
1991 Mazda #55 Team Mazdaspeed 787B: One of the most unique sounding cars in Forza 4, the Wankel rotary engine-equipped 787B is also legendary for its performance. It won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans race and the model was soon retired after FIA rules changes subsequently banned the use of Wankel-type rotary engines.
2011 Bentley Platinum Motorsports Continental GT: This Bentley Continental GT features a widebody construction that was custom created by Los Angeles-based Platinum Motorsports. The Continental GT looks great and features some serious power underneath the hood—two factors that contributed it to being selected as Forza Motorsport’s “E3 2011 Car of Show”.
1986 #2 Audi Sport quattro S1: Introduced in 1985 as a Group B rally entrant, this was the car that put Audi’s rallying program on the map. One of the most powerful Group B cars ever made, the quattro S1 held multiple hill climb world records in its day and is still widely regarded as one of the most incredible race cars Audi has produced.
1992 Alfa Romeo 155 Q4: A “compact executive” with the heart of a touring car, the 155 Q4 features a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine capable of 187 horsepower and an all-wheel drive drivetrain.
1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R: Long sought after by Forza’s Mustang fans, the 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R is big and beefy American muscle at its finest. Its SVT-modified 5.8 liter Windsor V8 pumps out 300 horsepower and plenty of torque. The car’s legendary status is further enhanced by its rarity—just 250 Cobra R models were produced.
2011 Holden HSV GTS: More power, better handling, and new technology are all hallmarks of Holden’s 2011 HSV GTS. The car’s MRC suspension brings a responsive ride in the corners that, when coupled with the 6.2 liter V8, makes the GTS a joy to drive.
2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI: A great-looking hatchback with surprising grit underneath the hood, the 2011 Polo GTI packs a 1.4 liter twin charged engine combining both a turbocharger and a supercharger, belting out an impressive 177 horsepower in a compact size.
In the past week, the news headlines have looked pretty bad for developer/publisher THQ, collectively painting a bad future for the company that only recently (November of last year) released Saints Row The Third to critical success. The THQ president and board of directors have taken pay cuts, they are cutting more and more jobs, NASDAQ has threatened to delist THQ and they’ve also pulled out of the children’s market for games. There’s more to be found, but you get the idea.
Since the writing on the wall started forming up in big, bold letters in the last two months, various publications have been offering up their opinions on where THQ went wrong and I’m not going to really go into that other than to say that I tend to agree with the general consensus that has formed; poor management with a side of uDraw under performing sales.Personally, I consider THQ to be a big name in the gaming industry. Sure, they aren’t really on the level of say Activision or Electronic Arts but they are a name, I think at least, that most people are aware of. So with saying that, they certainly aren’t the first ‘big’ name in the industry to have suffered as a result of poor management.
Atari were probably the first company that I can think of that suffered from poor management, among other things, like say this. The Atari of modern times is certainly a different picture from back then, when not only did they develop and publish games but consoles as well. There was also Sega, though I can’t say if their failures were down to management or not, after poor performance by the Dreamcast (Sega’s last console) their focus shifted to third party software.
What can THQ do to turn around things? Well that’s hard to say. They currently have a gold mine of licenses, just waiting to for lack of a better term, be exploited. And they have what is, in my opinion, a good core of games going forward. I personally don’t like the Saints Row franchise, but it is increasingly popular.
A Saints Row 4 seems inevitable, provided THQ don’t go under and I imagine that it will perform even better than the third installment of the series. I am a massive fan however, of the Dawn of War franchise, which utilises Games Workshop’s intellectual property of Warhammer 40k. As far as RTS games go, I’d much rather sit down and play a game of Dawn of War than Starcraft 2.
There is also the WWE franchise of games (previously Smackdown vs Raw) which I imagine to be mildly successful, depending on how much the WWE license actually costs. God knows I buy them every year just about, despite having been average at best now for the past few iterations (a slew of bugs every year and little actual improvement are plaguing the series, in my opinion).
Ultimately, sitting on gold mines means nothing, if the company isn’t managed properly. So unless things turn around, we could see them either going under completely or being bought out by another company. I especially hope the former doesn’t happen, but if the latter does, I would hope that those (licensed) games that I do enjoy are treated well.