Random Encounter- June 4th, 2011

Hey, this is the first Random Encounter post for this blog. I am hoping to be able to write a Random Encounter every week or so, and each one consists of 4-5 articles, each one of them quite short. I haven’t really decided if each Random Encounter article will have a theme or be completely random, but this one will focus on some games that will be on display at E3. I am not 100% percent sure if Duke Nukem Forever will be on show, since it is coming out a week after the convention starts. Though part of me knows for a fact that Gearbox won’t let an opportunity to flaunt their game down, I don’t think it will affect game sales either way. To end the article, me and Steven (minirevolution) will be giving out some recommendations to some over-looked games. So, let the Random Encounter begin!

Raaaaaaaaaaage.

My Thoughts on Duke Nukem Forever

I have never really like the Duke Nukem series; I only really tried it out since it is considered classic. As being a “spoiled brat of the new generation”, I did not get along well with Duke Nukem’s rudimentary gameplay. For me, it was too simple; it is hard to go back and play a 14 year old game after you have been exposed to masterpieces like Half Life 2 and Fallout 3. Also, I got my ass handed to me constantly in the game; this is not a bad thing, but considering I had to start from the beginning of the level, it was VERY annoying.

Duke Nukem Forever is a very different game then 3D. For one, your health, or “Ego”, regenerates; think Halo. Also, this game introduces vehicles and new weapons.

Personally, I dislike the health regenerating system; I always had a problem with people running away after I got shot off on them in Halo. The vehicles look fun, since it comes with a turbo boost that doesn’t speed up the car while its held down, but launches the car forward quickly for a limited duration.

One of the best things about Duke Nukem 3D, I won’t lie, were the comical strippers. The strippers were never really there to… entice, but there to add comic relief between the tense action that ensued. The girls in Forever look like complete bimbos. The two girls in the trailer had this extremely annoying voice; think stuck-up valley girl. The girls in 3D didn’t have voices (with the exception of them saying “kill me”), which I now realize is a good thing.

The gameplay is the area of greatest concern. 3D had very simplistic shooting: aim, shoot, take cover, get out of cover, shoot, repeat. For one, I see no point of using the shrink ray, at least from what I saw in the gameplay trailers. If you shrink them, the enemies can still use their guns, and now they’re smaller! The purpose of shrinking them is so that you can kick them, which is one hit KO. But getting up close to them means you’ll be pumped full of lead! Perhaps there are specific levels where the shrink ray will come in, though I haven’t seen one yet. Also, after watching a boss fight scene, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. The boss was so simple and unoriginal. Unfortunately, parts of the boss fight were removed, so there may have been mechanics that were not shown.

I sincerely hope Duke Nukem Forever will be good. If it gets even a 8.0 from IGN, I’ll be happy (I’m not saying 8.0 is a bad score, but since Forever has been in production for 14 years, I’m expecting better). But if the combat is as simple as it is in the trailers, this could prove to be a major problem. Duke Nukem 3D was original: it had voice acting and funny concepts. If Forever is just a rehash of that game, expect disappointment from the gaming community.

Link to Duke Nukem trailers: http://www.gametrailers.com/game/duke-nukem-forever/360

My Recommendation: Quake Live

Really, in how many shooters can you shoot people up half naked?

The Quake series has always been a favorite of mine; each new outing has its own appeal to drag addicts back into the action. For example, Quake 1 is extremely fast, and Quake 3 is alot slower, yet with new physics. I’m not going to go into detail about this, since this is about Quake Live, but I will tell you the series has not aged too badly.

Quake Live is a technological achievement, since it plays in the browser and loads up so quickly. Unfortunately, the game forces you to sit through advertisements, something only paying players get to disable.

To say that Quake Live is faster than most FPS games made in the last few years would certainly be accurate; most Quakers (term I made up), like me, find it hard to play slower games, like Halo or CoD (but it doesn’t mean they’re not fun). The weapons are somewhat balanced, and each have their own purposes, so there’s no need to worry about someone bringing out a noob tube. While some weapons, like the rail gun, lightning gun and rocket launcher are used more frequently, it is because they’re the damage dealers. Grenades are used to attack large groups and throw off pursuers, shotguns are used for finishing somebody off, and so on.

There are many modes to satisfy yourself in. Free For All is exactly what it sounds like; I personally find this mode frustrating, since you spawn with basic weapons, almost guaranteeing death if you meet someone with a better weapon. Capture the Flag is exhilarating; in some games, the flag carrier cannot hold a weapon, but in this game they thankfully can. Quake Live supports Instagib Capture the Flag; a great variation on this is the rail Instagib mode, where every rail shot is an instant frag (kill).My favorite mode is Clan Arena, where there is no friendly fire and you start out with all the weapons. It’s a great place to refine your skills, but inexperienced players will end up spamming the entire game.

Another great thing about Quake Live is the variety on movement. The basics are strafe jumping and rocket jumping. Both are very useful and fun to master and use; rocket jumping is a great way to hail death from above and escape, at least when playing Clan Arena.

But of course, there are a few problems. As mentioned before, spamming will most definitely occur in a few of the modes. Also, do not be surprised when another team dominates to the point of ridiculousness; experienced players can easily make new accounts and play in low tiers. In the Duel mode, there are rarely any servers that do not have experienced players in them. And if you are not comfortable with playing people who troll or swear, don’t come close: there is no censoring in this game. For beginners, there may be a slight learning curve, even in lower tiers, although I found this nonexistent for myself.

Quake Live is fast, simple and fun. If you want customization in your shooter, don’t expect to find it here. For the other people who want speed and power, hop on board, because Quake delivers and satisfies.

Oh yeah, and it’s free.

Quake Live link: quakelive.com

This week’s Random Encounter is a short one, since I’m excited to write about what I see for E3. Also, I won’t deny I’m a bit busy. Thanks for reading, and check out the next Random Encounter coming soon!

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