Friday, 29 April 2011

A friend's view on the GoW 3 beta

    Although it might seem a bit odd for a blogger to add another person's thoughts to his page I wanted to bring under the light a friend's view of the beta that occupies much of my time as well. This entry was composed by Tsukuyomi (GT "Tsukuyomi GR") and he reserves all rights related to it. Hope you find it interesting.

    "Greetings Everyone,
     I took the decision to write my opinion about GOW 3 beta, so I can contribute to the creation of the final product and because I don't like all the bitchiing for the weapons especially for the shotguns. So let me tell you my impressions so far.

    Until now I haven't face any issues about lag and delay, and I am really glad about this. I am telling that because here in Greece although we loved GOW 2 for its campaign and horde mode we had a hard playing multi (another problem is that greek connections are really shitty), so we decided to forget about it and play other games. When we started playing the beta most of us thought "Ok it's going to be a little better than GOW 2 but we will still face situations full of lag and delay", but you proved us wrong, after the first match I felt that this time you will do it right!
    Now, about the weapons. I believe that the weapons are really balanced.
    The Lancer is the weapon everyone wants for support and for long ranged combat, moreover it has the chainsaw which is really useful after the improvements you did on it. The only drawbacks so far is that sometimes the chainsaw kills an enemy even if there is some distance between them, and other times it cancels the shot from the shotgun of an enemy and cuts him down.
    The Hammerburst is the heavy ranged weapon which can make an enemy drop to his knees easily, that's its purpose anyway.
    The Retro Lancer although its really a powerful ranged weapon it kicks a lot, so I believe that balances its immense power. But it has a problem although the lance on it is a great asset, there are times when you assault someone he shoots you and your speed decrease but you manage to stab him and kill him or another issue same with that of the chainsaw. There are many times when you got hit by a shotgun while you are making an assault but shot is canceled and you stab the enemy.

About the two shotguns, I can see that they are the main theme about bitching these days. I believe that both of them are well balanced. Sawed off has a few but powerful shots which are slow in reload and they want you to be accurate, tactical (not camper because gears is a fast and intense game so if you camping you are not playing gears at all) and close to your enemy, whereas Gnasher has more ammo, faster reload and can deal damage at bigger ranges. So ammo, reload speed and increased range are the balance between the gnasher and the immense power of the sawed off.
    The power weapons are just perfect except one issue with the reticle of the sniper sometimes when you try to aim, it remains big
     About the sidearms... Boltok got more powerful but to kill an enemy with two shots you must also be accurate so that's fine for me, as for the Gorgon I haven't used it that much but it felt a little different, I could say weaker?
     Ok, about the grenades.
    The smoke grenade, it's just amazing guys it can stun enemies for a little time of course, and it's the best thing before doing assaults with your retro lancer, shotgun etc. or throwing an offensive grenade.
    The Frag Grenade although a lot of people are saying they're mini nukes I find them pretty good, they might be destructive but the sound they make before exploding gives you enough time to run away!
    The incediary grenades I really like them but when I tag them on walls I believe it's a matter of luck whether they kill the enemy or damage him
    The ink grenade is the only thing I don't like in the beta it has a very small area effect although it can stun the enemies for a while if you don't throw it in front of them they can avoid it easily so I have found it really difficult to kill with it

    That's all about the weapons...
    The addition of holding the buttons in order to do an action has solved a lot of problems, as for the executions I liked the ones in GOW 2 but I like more the ones here. They are new and more brutal.
    Another issue which happens rarely but is a serious one, is about the respawn. There are times when both teams respawn on the same place or a team respawns in a point where there are already enemies. Because the frequency of that issue is rare I believe it won't be that hard to fix it completely, right? xD
    And the final issue is not about the beta but about the players who are playing the beta. I am referring to those guys who do not hesitate to steal your kills continuously in a match, or even worse to steal your kill instead of reviving you. About those guys I would suggest everyone who reads my thread to stay calm, keep playing and you can "punish" them after the match by giving them negative feedback & file complaint or pay them back by stealing their kills when you get the chance. But if you want to avoid all of this it's better to play with your friends, don't forget that GOW is a game in which "Team" is a fundamental element in order to succeed.
    So, that's all... 
    The only thing I wanted to ask, if Epic read this please don't screw it up!"


    PS. This text was not altered by me in any way. It might contain some minor mistakes but it is Tsukuyomi's work, not mine, and thus I shall not take any liberties with it. It is posted as-is, in its original form.


On the Gears of War 3 Beta...

    "Beta". A word we've grown accustomed to during the past few years. The market's shift towards more centralized, controlled and net-related services saw to an increase in amateur game testing and customer participation regarding the pre-release process of de-bugging and finalization. "Going gold" - the technical term used in the industry when a title is ready for shipping - with the help of gamers everywhere is faster, more thorough and above all cheaper for the developer. Why spend a load of cash on extra beta testers when you can have thousands of people playing you pre-release code, reporting bugs and populating your fora (yes, this is plural for "forum") at the meager expense of giving them a piece of avatar clothing, a gamerpicture, or just an in-game badge? Or maybe there is more on the "give" side in certain cases...?

    Entertainment. This is what EPIC gave to the GoW players around the world who had the pleasure of owning Bulletstorm's disappointingly, well, empty "Epic Edition" or pre-ordered the game at specific retailers. More important than bragging rights and surely more important than the obsolete unlockables is the realization of how much these developers have improved their game. Gears of War 3 is the product of  the ip's distillation: The best the franchise has to offer so far. This "little piece of the pie" beta is more stable, pretty and bad-ass than the whole GoW 2 experience ever was. After a ton of patches, much experimenting and lots of missteps they finally got it right. And when I say "right" I mean "drop-dead-awesomely right".

This time there are female gears as well in the mix. About damn time.

    The small review I wrote on pretty much nails my view and feelings on the beta: "When I was about to get into the beta I expected a game in its pre-release form, playable but broken to a certain extend, with the occasional hang looming over my gaming hours and lots of delay in pre-game lobbies. What I was treated to was a rock-solid client, filled with content and improved over its predecessor in every possible way. GoW 2 was a great title but, as anyone who's ever played it can testify, it was bugged beyond belief, its net code heavy and ineffective and with a matchmaking system as slow and slimmy as a slug. GoW 3, even in its beta form is a testament to just how much EPIC has learned over the last three years. If this is just a taste of thing to come then we are in for a wild ride. Cliff once promised a bigger, more bad-ass, better Gears of War and delivered the second installment. Now, with less bragging and more work, they are finally ready to deliver the sequel the original GoW deserves".

    In 2006 EPIC gave us something worth remembering. For what it offered, for how refined and high-tech it was and for the simple fact that back in the day there wasn't anything quite like it. It's impossible for a sequel to live up to the "wow" factor of its original forebearer. But this game has the potential to come at breathing distance of this expectation. And that is saying a lot about the dedication of the people behind it. 

After the release of GoW 2 and the realization that I would not be able to enjoy the online component of the game I was left cold in the sight of the Cog of Ill Omen. Once again I am so looking forward to it occupying my monitor...

    So, once again after three long years, I have again faith in the GoW franchise. To be honest, I am looking forward to the epic conclusion of the events taking place in its universe more than I was to the original's release. The only "bad" thing I can say about this test run is that EPIC reserved it for the "paying costumer". Apart from that all I can do is give kudos to the team until the game comes out. 

    That, and turn as many people into fertilizer with my sawd-off shotgun before the beta expires... 


Friday, 22 April 2011

Sharing a piece of my mind...

    I've been a gamer since I can consciously remember myself. I came in contact with the industry while I was still a  little kid and, as far as I can remember, used to find little interest in the archaic games offered by the then-high-tech ATARI-2600. The years rolled by, an electrical surge fried my 2600 and my involvement with gaming came to a halt.

 The 2600. Can you believe that the company behind this "beast" once dominated the market?

    Years later I was able to procure an ATARI Jaguar, the overly hyped and totally obsolete system released by the company in a desperate attempt to catch the market by storm. I spent some time with it, sure, but at some point it became apparent that I'd need to get my hands on something financially active if I was to follow my hobby on a realistic basis. That's when I came in contact with SEGA' s horrendously underrated beauty, the Saturn...

    ... and man, what a trip THAT was! From Cyber Troopers: Virtual-ON and Fighting Vipers to my all-times favorite Panzer Dragoon Saga it's really no surprise to anyone following the console that it became my most beloved, up until the Dreamcast came around - a console I still consider the most drastic catalyst for the industry and the one that created the model for the econimic structure on which the gaming market operates today.


The Dreamcast (Left) and Panzer Dragoon Saga (Right), both in their Japanese release forms. People who know me are familiar with the fact that these are two of my favorite entities of all time, all things taken under account. I still consider them unsurpassed in their respective spheres of influence even after all these years...  

    Of course these were not the only systems that occupied my time. But this, my first ever attempt at blogging something, will not be a recap of my journey through the majestic world of gaming. It's simply a "Greetings letter" to anyone interested in sharing a piece of my mind, aimed towards people who can appreciate gaming and what it offers just like I do: A still young, beautiful child that shall grow and mature to become the ultimate art form - much to the disappointment of purists and tech-haters everywhere.

    But I think I might be coming a little too hard on the reader, this being my first post and all. I hope you enjoyed this little attempt of mine to become something of a "known quality" to you, dear reader, and hopefully you will be interested in reading what is to come.

    Maybe I will write about sequels next... hmmm... yes, that would be a nice topic.