Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

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All © to above images belong to Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and/or Turbine, Inc. and/or DC Comics

http://www.infinitecrisis.com/

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Jill Valentine

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Chris Redfield

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The Batman games have always been great. The recently-announced Batman: Arkham Knight is again looking to capture gamers’ attention.

Even though they make me motion-sick whenever I play them (ditto for The Last of Us), I still own the games in multiple platforms. I’m sure this’ll be the same story. Originally billed for an October 2014 release, it looks like we’ll now have to wait until sometime in 2015 to be the Bat once more.

In anticipation, here are some official wallpapers and screen captures from the official site. Copyright by respective owners. Click to get the high-res version.

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I’ve had RE5, RE6, RE:Revelations and a bunch of other games I bought through Steam for a while, and have been happily killing off the mutated and the undead every chance I get.

This weekend, though, RE6 wouldn’t start. It would just show a blank screen where there used to be the loading cues. It would stay like that for a while, unresponsive except for the ALT+CTRL+Delete salute. I’ve been able to launch Task Manager this way and found the RE6 process eating up all available CPU, which explains the unresponsiveness.

The Issue:

My laptop comes with two display adapters – the built in HD4000 and a secondary discrete card NVIDIA GeForce GT 740m. On Device Manager, I saw that there’s a yellow exclamation icon plastered on the 740m. Uh oh, trouble. Opening the device’s properties, Windows offered this explanation:

Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)

Some useful information regarding this error can be found here.

The Solution:

In my case, the fix was straightforward.

  1. Right-click the device on Device Manager, select Uninstall. Select not to remove the driver if prompted.
  2. Click Scan for hardware changes. Wait until the device is recognized and Windows reconfigures the drivers. It should take a couple of minutes and a few screen flickers but no reboot necessary.

That took care of it. Easy peasy.

The game is available in multiple platforms, and is one of the few that actually got released on the Windows Metro Modern UI, or whatever they call it these days.

It’s a nice casual game to play. Riding on the coattails of the cuteness of the lovable minions of the Despicable Me franchise, Gameloft has released the game on all of the major platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and even on Windows 8.1.

That would be a good thing, except for the fact that its in-app purchases are priced ridiculously high. Parents beware. Lock down the in-app purchase permissions on your devices to avoid getting bill-shocked if you let your kids play this game.

Like every other freemium (I really hate this term) game out there, this one is free to download. Its mechanics is simple enough – you keep running while trying to dodge various obstacles. The objective is to run as far as you can get while collecting bananas, one of the currencies in the game. You get power-ups along the way to help you out in your run.

There are two types of virtual currencies used in-game, the aforementioned bananas, and tokens. You can collect bananas during runs. The tokens, you can get at most five in a day, if you’re lucky. The sure-fire way though, and what the game developer is banking on, is you shell out real money to buy the virtual tokens.

This is the devious part of the game mechanics. You’ll need a ridiculously high number of bananas to buy stuff, like upgrading your power-ups or buying the first three or so costumes. You’ll have to run not an insignificant number of times just to rack up enough bananas.

The tokens are mainly used for buying the more desirable costumes, switching to one of three environments (in the Windows version at least), and reviving your character.

Each costume, by the way, has a special embellishment, a special feature that gives a unique advantage when equipped. There is really no reason to charge any amount – virtual or otherwise – to change to some virtual environment you’ve already unlocked other than to milk as much as you can from your customers.

If you thought the banana stuff is already expensive enough, you’ll get a shock with the tokens.

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Consider this Dad costume, which costs 7,000 tokens to buy. You start off with maybe 50 free tokens. Even if you’re lucky and you play everyday, it will take you forever to gather that much tokens. Plus, you need to be careful not to hit that revive button that appears once you die, or else, bye-bye hard-earned tokens!

So your alternative, of course, is to buy them with real money. How much will it cost? A freaking lot.

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$50 for 7500 tokens. Enough to buy just one freaking costume. One. And this is how easy it is to run into serious money trouble if kids get to play these sort of games without them understanding that these cost real money and parents don’t reign in the in-app purchases.

So much for free.

This is why I really wish there was legislation that limits these game developers that abuse their customers. I hope that the investigation by UK’s Office of Fair Trading sets a good precedent.

Click on any image to view the higher resolution version (1920×1080).

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For all the flack Resident Evil 5 has taken, I would prefer it a million different ways than 6 or even Revelations. And here’s why.

Weapons are your friend

Speaking just for myself, I really prefer running through the campaigns of games I buy. Mercenaries in RE games is good to play now and again, particularly for leveling up purposes, but I am mostly after campaign scenarios. I like following the story, but that’s just me.

In 5, you can collect the weapons and once you’ve gathered all of them, you can pick and choose. Except for the Gatling gun which only Chris can use, and the Bow&Arrow for Sheva, everything’s usable for both characters. Upgrade the ones you are most comfortable with and you’ll be set for all future gameplays. Of course, if for some reason, you’d like to play a handicap game, you can purchase new versions on the store, and you can use those fresh but weak ones however which way you want.

Plus, fully upgrade a weapon and you can buy an infinite ammo upgrade for it. Useful for all those hours of Zombie-blasting fun. Only the grenade launcher is exempt from this feature, but at least you have the rocket launcher – just beat the game in under 5 hours.

In 6, your character dictates what weapons you can wield. Coming from 5, that’s a big disappointment. I like playing Chris’ campaign but can’t use any magnum-caliber weapon. Other scenarios don’t have grenade launchers. Fortunately, unlimited ammo is achievable for most of the weapons. Grenade launcher has infinite option here, but no RPG!

Revelations, now here is where it gets annoying. The weapons are varied enough, but only Jill can equip “custom parts” and customize her weapons. Parker, Keith and Chris don’t have access to weapon boxes, depriving them the ability to upgrade their weapons. Plus their inventory don’t carry over. It’s annoying, for example, that when you get to Episode 11, playing Parker, you always start off with just 15 Machine Gun ammo and four handgun ammo. On Casual and Normal difficulties, this will get you through fine ‘til you get to the part where you rescue Raymond. But on Hell mode (3DS version), it really gets hellish as the hunter you encounter at the start seems like a bullet sponge.

Infinite RPG is unlockable if you manage to beat Hell mode in 3DS or Inferno on other consoles. But Jill is the only one who can use it. No other weapons get the infinite ability.

Weapons are upgradeable but only to a point. You need parts to add abilities and features, and the good parts are terribly hard to come by. I hate playing around a whole day just to get rewarded with weak parts.

At least in 5 and 6, you can grind yourself through mercenaries and even the campaigns and you’re assured that you can get the good upgrades once you scraped enough points. In RE Revelations, you can work your ass off and still not get anything worthwhile for your effort. The store in Revelations offer different merchandise each time you come in. But a lot of what is there is pure crap, and are only usable in raid mode.

Costumes make it fun

Revelations on other consoles other than the 3DS offer unlockable costumes for use in both campaign and raid modes. 5 had this from the get-go, while 6 wouldn’t allow any alternate costume in campaign mode. There are some available for the Mercenaries mode, and that’s it.

The story as an anchor

Story-wise, I like 5’s better than 6 and Revelations because it felt non-contrived compared to the other two.

In 6, it’s annoying to have Leon run around with Helena without knowing what was the deal with her. There was really no reason she couldn’t have told him what he needed to know without having to show him first. Had she done so in the first place, they would have made better decisions. Instead, they got a lot of people killed. Those poor souls at the cathedral! Helena, despite being forced to do things against her will, is still a big part of the reason the US President is dead. It’s not like she had a device stuck on her chest controlling her like Jill had. I would think that’s a big deal, but in the RE Universe, the US government is apparently tolerant of such deeds. She even got her badge back.

But the most annoying plot of all is that of Revelations. In order to expose the evil that is Lansdale, the head of the BSAA – Clive R. O’Brian – connives with Raymond and cooks up a convoluted entrapment plan. He put his department and his men and women in direct harm’s way. Way to stir up the bee’s nest, considering they didn’t know for sure what they can get out of it.

I’d like to believe that in a sane world, O’Brian would pay for his rash actions as much as Lansdale would!