Left 4 Dead 2 Ban-Hammered In Australia

17 09 2009

l4d2_banned

That’s right you heard it right Aussie gamers. We will not be getting Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia as it has been refused classification by the Classifications Board this week.
The report on the game said it contained “”realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence” and therefore was refused classification, as the current classification system Australia does not have an R18+ rating for computer games similar to that for movies.

Early reports the games’ success is going to be huge in Australia and the rest of the world.

It’s a shame really instead of gamers buying a game locally in Australia and spending their money here they’ll just resort to a) importing overseas, b) pirating the game or c) just not play it at all.

This issue has once again put into the limelight that Australia still does not have an R18+ rating and that the classification system is in much need of reform. This is not an old issue though as there has been attempts at introducing an R18+ rating for games in Australia with all Attorney Generals of each of the states agreeing, except for Michael Atkinson an attorney general from South Australia who voted against.

Currently he is the only one preventing a new rating system being implemented, according to him he is ‘protecting the children’ from being exposed to such material. But wait! I though it was up to the parents to monitor what their children are viewing, but then I guess it’s just easier to blame the developers when you find out your kid is playing a violent game instead of looking at the big fat red sticker on the game box.
Why raise your children when the government can do it for you?

I for one had strict parents who didn’t even let me watch movies or play games they considered were not suitable for me that was until I hit 15 which then I was allowed the freedom to watch/play most games and movies barring buying porn (but that’s what the internet is there for right?).
It’s not very hard to see what games your kids are playing as being a parent means you have absolute control, monitoring what content passes through your house hold and the simple act of reading the rating does help somewhat when you’re buying computer games for your kids hell I was asked to be accompanied by my dad back then when I tried to buy Fallout Tactics which had an MA15+ rating.

Anyway I’d say write polite complains to the Classification Board to protest their decision might help sway their decision but writing to or estimed Michael Atkinson would just result in typical political spin.

Electronic Arts(EA) the distributor for Australia is still working with the classification board to resolve this issue and it will be allowed to be sold in Australia in its pure undiluted form like F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin which had a similar story but having its’ ban lifted.
Instead of a gimped release in the case of Fallout 3.

Although I do enjoy living in Australia and enjoy its’ many freedoms, I have to say it is akin to living in a country town: nice to living in but not modern.

Edit: After a bit of digging around on the internet Atkinson apparently posted a letter to the editor for the Adelaide Advertiser about the very subject of video game censorship in Australia only to be later rebutted by a gentlemen of  57 years of age; Terry O’Shanassy. The rebuttal was done  in such a fashion that Atkinson very much got ‘owned’.

Source News.com.au





First they came for the hats…

5 09 2009
poor_hatless_irish

I say is that a hatless idling Irishman?

So a few days ago I booted up Team Fortress 2 after a mate asked me to check if my items were gone. Apparently because Valve had started to remove items gained by using Drunken F00l’s Idler Program which basically emulated you being connected to a Team Fortress 2 server.
Indeed I was greeted with the following:

Your account has been flagged for circumventing the item distribution system. We have removed the items that were illegally obtained. Future violations will result in the loss of all your items.

Valve had removed all the items I had gained using the idler which as two hats: The Heavy’s football helmet and the Glorious Officer’s Ushenka.
I am rather jarated off that Valve has all of a sudden pimp slapped a large percentage of its active Team Fortress 2 player base without stating its position on this matter months before this fiasco. The creator had emailed Valve about this months before asking for Valve’s opinion and also offered to voluntarily shut down operations if Valve requested, making it unforgivable for Valve to not have made an official post on their Team Fortress 2 blog warning idlers that its use was disapproved.

Instead of posting up a warning to all idler users Valve takes a different approach; it proceeds to take all items that idlers have gotten using the idler program, labelled them “Cheaters” and a final slap in the face, given all other users who did not use the idler program hats more specifically a “Halo” hat.
Now the community is in uproar about how Valve has handled this matter people who idled are not helping those with halos and those with halos refuse to help people who have idled. It has divided the community and many people have refused to play Team Fortress 2 ever again.
Although Valve has stated that only 3.5% of Team Fortress 2 owners were affected it seems that the number has been skewed as instead of being the number of active Team Fortress 2 players it is the number of people who own the game which it was bundled with The Orange Box. At its peak the idler server numbered roughly 10,000+ idlers at any given time, according to some users the number sits somewhere around the realm of 25-33.3% of the active player base has been affected by this fiasco.

Although I am unhappy my hats got taken away from me, I can still take solace in the fact that I can now see spies easily and snipers wearing the halo make easier headshot targets.

Edit: Fixed some expression mistakes and missing words.





Team Fortress 2 Sniper & Spy Update Out

22 05 2009
snipervsspy

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ultimate showdown has begun...





Team Fortress 2 Meet The Spy Leaked

17 05 2009

Yes, you heard it right the “Meet The Team” trailer for the spy was leaked.
Enjoy the awesome that is Meet The Spy.





Touhou on DS and Aliens Attack?

27 03 2009
touhou_ds00

Flying Balloon heads... O_o

So on my usual trawl of Sankaku Complex I stumbled upon an interesting Homebrew game for the Nintendo DS: a recreation of the renowned Touhou manic shooters.

In its current version (as of this post) Touhou DS 0.8 is made up of four stages in the demo level, with most of the fancy text still very much under construction. According to the developer’s site you can muck around with the in-game files letting you adjust the amount of bombs and lifes your character has.

touhou_ds03

Reimu! Reimu! :3

So how does it play? Well to put it simply it’s quite fun to play when you’re on break or just want to kill a few minutes.
The game currently has a selection of 5 characters from the Touhou games for you to choose all with different bullet patterns, unique bombs, and movement speeds. All make for an interesting play through.

touhou_ds01

IMA FIRIN' MAH LAZAH!!!!!!!!!!111!!!ONEONE

Controls are relatively simple with the D-pad controlling movement, while ‘X,Y,B,A,L & R’ can be configured for Shoot, Focus (concentrating your bullets but sacrificing speed), Bomb, holding down focus and then hitting your bomb button will use your unique Bomb attack.

touhou_ds02

Its Raining Men Hallelouya... Oh wait...

The boss battles get progressively harder with each boss at each stage gaining more lives forcing you to kill them many times over before defeating them, enemies are relatively easy to kill but again get harder to kill as the stages progress and the bullet patterns get crazier and more interesting as you get to the higher stages.
Collecting drops from enemies makes your attacks not only stronger but changes your shots adding more firepower or better coverage (spread shot) dieing results in you losing your powerup one rank at a time until you only have your weakest attack with barely any coverage and poor power.
A word of warning, for those who have not played Touhou will find themselves dieing a lot as a single hit will kill you, but luckily it does offer you a chance to restart the current stage instead of having to start over from the beginning.
The graphics as a whole are quite good for a DS game, the interface is still relatively rough but workable allowing you to easily navigate the menus, and the soundtrack is brilliant in all its sorta-midi greatness.
Overall I’ve found the game very amusing, fun and a good time killer.
Can’t wait for the next version to come out.

I’d highly recommend this game to those looking for something to kill time on their DS, so long as you have an R4 or similar cartridge.

Link to developer’s Site
Sankaku Complex Article Link

From the looks of it ‘Weeaboo’ the developer is also developing a DS port for other games the one that draws most of my attention is the awesome Fate/Stay Night visual novel which I am currently in the process of downloading, I’ll report back on here when I’ve given it a spin.

In other news Atomic Magazine reports that the Australian Board of Classification website was hacked by aliens.

classification_board_hacked_lol

1337 |-|4X

Sauce for aliens





Fallout 3 Review

19 11 2008

First off I would like to apologize for the late review.

Admitantly I have been lazy these past few weeks of holida
ys (bliss) so without further ado I present to you my Fallout 3 review.

Fallout 3 was originally developed by Black Isle Studios a studio owned by Interplay Entertainment, under the title of Van Buren. That was before Interplay went bust and the game was left in limbo and the rights to develop Fallout 3 sold to Bethesda Softworks famous for the Elder Scrolls titles.

Van Buren did though reach a workable tech demo before Interplay shut Black Isle down. The development of Fallout 3 did not start until July 2004 but major development only took place after the release of the fourth installment of Elder Scrolls – Oblivion.

Bethesda decided to make Fallout 3 with a focus on non-linear gameplay, solid story and obligatory black humor – similar to its predecessors Fallout and Fallout 2 respectively. But leaving out the self-referential gags of the previous two games, so as to no break the suspension of disbelief within the game allowing the player to feel that the Fallout world is in fact ‘real’.Fallout 3 went gold on October the 9th 2008 and was released in Australia on the 30th of October 2008 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

I ended up buying the limited edition from GAME on release date.

The game itself is very pretty as it was developed on the Gamebryo engine, the same engine used for Oblivion. Although this game is not ‘Crysis pretty’ it is enough to convey what the developers are trying to get across and they successfully roped me into the Fallout universe.

The game itself opens with the player’s birth allowing the player to choose their gender, name, facial features, hair colour and heritage. The player then proceeds through various stages of life in Vault 101 finally ending with their 10th birthday, before the player now 19 is awoken by a friend from the Vault, told that his/her father has left the vault and that the Overseer’s men are looking for the player.

The player then proceeds to escape the troubled Vault to finally emerge from the ground to see the war ravaged Capital Wasteland. From there the player has the option to follow the main quest to look for their father or to simply wander the Wastes and sample the many fruits the Wasteland has on offer, this includes a town built round a life atomic bomb, the landmarks of Washington D.C and an old aircraft carrier turned city.

Everything related to your character is controlled through the PIP-Boy 3000 that is given to them during the early stages of life in the Vault, the PIP-Boy provides information on everything from your character’s current state of health, radiation poisoning levels, their inventory, weapons, quests and map data.

The player’s avatar is limited to a maximum level cap of 20 with the player able to choose 3 ‘Tag’ skills in which 15 points are added instantly to the player’s chosen skills another skill can be ‘Tagged’ later on in the game with a perk. Perks are gained at every level there is a selection of over 60 different perks some of which can be earned through leveling or doing specific quests.

Combat in-game can be handled the old fashioned way in real time or in The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System otherwise known as V.A.T.S mode. When the player activates VATS mode the game pauses and the player has a certain amount of ‘Action Points’ to use for their attacks, the number of action points can be determined by the amount of Agility a character has, more can be added with perks or the usage of drugs such as ‘Jet’.

The advantage of VATS is that it allows the player to target specific body parts on the enemy such as shooting the enemy’s weapon out of their hands.

Above: VATS in action

Above: Result of successful headshot in VATS

However the player must be aware that their skills also affect the chances of hitting the target, this also affects the real time combat as you shots are wildly inaccurate at range.

On the subject of weapons the player’s weapons slowly decay with use some more so than others; of course the player can repair weapons with a similar weapon. The novel part of the game when it comes to weapons is the inclusion of homemade weapons such as the Nuka Grenade a concoction of a special Cola and some cleaning solution to create the ultimate grenade capable of killing even the toughest of foes in a single hit.

Ammo in game does not have a weight penalty unlike the earlier Fallout games; the reason for this was Bethesda did not want to bog down inventory management.

Players have Karma a game mechanic that determines how the game world views your avatar wither he or she has been up to no good or a saint. One example of Karma at work is when the player gets to a certain level of ‘Good’ karma bounty hunters are sent after them to kill them.

Some quirks I have found with the game relates to in-game physics let me illustrate a situation there is a super mutant standing guard on a tall building, I snipe him blasting off his head but for some reason his body is flung off the building as if something had exploded behind him have a look at the screenshot below to see the flying corpse.

Another problem with the game is how enemies are sometimes spawned in the game material so their bodies are in fact inside the floor mesh this resulted in some hairy situations where I had fire breathing ants pop out of the ground in front of me.

The game’s AI pathing system isn’t all that flash as most enemies will just charge you making the use of landmines very desirable, but this does not come without its quirks such an example was a mirelurk (giant mutant crab) decided to attack me but couldn’t get to me because I was on a high vantage point so the mirelurk just kept running at the scaffolding, a few seconds later it just spawned in front of me forcing me to take damage and promptly turn it into a puddle of green goo.

All in all, Fallout 3 was an amazing experience with much to offer the discerning gamer with its lovely atmosphere and brilliant gameplay; despite its various quirks I would award it 10/10.

This game has a lot of replayability, and since it was build on the Gamebryo engine we’re sure to see mods being release when the development package is released to the public.

On a side note this game is an Role Play Game from a first person perspective not a first person shooter so to fully enjoy the game don’t rush the main quest instead just wander the wastes.

So people get out there grab a copy of Fallout 3 and discover the Capital Wasteland.





Fallout 3 Weeeee

31 10 2008

So apparently I picked my pre-ordered copy of Fallout 3 from GAME this Thursday, got to play it for about two days now and turning out pretty good I’ll post a full[ish] review later.
But for now here are some pics of what I got in the ‘Limited Edition’ pack.
The ‘Limited Edition’ pack included:

  • Fallout 3 Brotherhood of Steel figurine
  • Fallout 3 DVD
  • Fallout 3 Official mini-strategy guide
  • Fallout 3 Pipboy Keyring
  • Fallout 3 Soundtrack sampler audio CD
Fig 0.1 The whole kit and kaboodle

Fig 0.2 The newly opened Fallout 3 installation DVD