Tag: PC

E3 2012: home viewing guide

Once again, it’s that time of year to gaze upon the oracle of gaming-to-come, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). My NeverEnding Story of trying to get inside is still being written. The gatekeepers to the kingdom of gaming (the E3 committee Sphinxes’) have thwarted even my most “Atreyuian” moves towards the gates.
Nevertheless, E3 2012 is happening June 5-7th with major keynote addresses starting on Monday, June 4th. You’re viewing choices have grown (slightly) this year over last, with more network choices and dedicated streams over the Internet. Televised on Spike TV and sister Viacom Media Networks, including MTV2; MTVU; VH1; Tr3s: Música y Másand will all air the coverage simultaneously. Check your local listings for their correct channels. The Microsoft keynote will be airing for the first time on XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360. I’m starting to wonder if by attending E3 you actually risk not seeing everything; and the best move may be getting all the information in one massive media download.

It’s interesting to ponder what’s in store and its affect on how the industry is fairing. E3 has high expectations associated with it, namely first look at new consoles. While I personally don’t think we will be seeing any new hardware besides the Wii U, there are some highly anticipated games we can expect to hear about.

The Gamedae E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide is below.

GAMEDAE E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide
A Guide to Where and When to get the most of E3 from your Couch.

FRIDAY JUNE 1st (Weekend before the expo)

10:30 PST / 1:30am EST || Konami Pre-E3 Show

 || Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012

MONDAY JUNE 4th (day before the expo opens)

9:30am PST / 12:30pm EST || XBox: Entertainment Evolved
  • Expectations: Halo 4, Fable: The Journey, the newest Call of Duty and a Spotify-like Music Service
  • On XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360.
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || Electronic Arts: The Download at the Orpheum Theater in LA
  • Announced Featured Content: SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13 and other unannounced projects
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.ea.com/e3 & GameTrailers.com
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || Ubisoft
5:30pm preview, 6pm PST / 8:30pm preview, 9pm EST || Sony

TUESDAY JUNE 5th (First day of Expo)

9am PST/ 12pm EST || Nintendo All-Access
  • Expectations: New Mario Launch game, Wii U redesigns, release date and price
  • TV: Spike TV or MTV2 networks, watch the presentation live with no commercial interruptions
  • WEB: the Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 website at http://e3.nintendo.com
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6th (Second day of Expo)
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
6pm PST/9pm EST || Nintendo Software Showcase
    •  WEB: http://e3.nintendo.com/

THURSDAY JUNE 7th (Third day of Expo)

3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage

rift: planes of tolara by zoidberger


DEVELOPER: Trion Worlds
ESRB RATING: T (for Teen)
Progress: Lvl 50 Bahmi Cleric-Warden

Unpolished features, massive bugs and server crashes are all things we have come to expect when a new MMORPG hits the market. In a genre dominated by what is actually available and working at launch, Rift stands out as being 100% playable on day one. The game play in Rift is not revolutionary, in fact you can make the point that is has nothing new to offer. What developer Trion Worlds did was take already existing facets from multiple MMOs and improves on them; Rift proves that a game new to the genre doesn’t need to reinvent it to be great.

Rift is set in the world of Telara, the focal point of different planes (worlds). You play as one of two factions opposing the death god Regulos, whose actions have caused rifts to open on your world threatening to destroy all who inhabit it. You play as an Ascended: a resurrected soldier with the task of defeating the forces of Regulos. As an ascended you get to choose between the Guardians or the Defiants. The Guardians are made up of the Mathosians (humans), High Elves, and Dwarves. On the Defiants side you choose from the Eth (humans), Kelari (Dark Elves), and Bahmi (look like giants).

The User Interface is very polished and looks visually amazing

Once you choose your faction and race its time to choose your “calling”. Callings are the class system in Rift, you choose between Warrior, Cleric, Rogue and Mage. As you level up you start to unlock points in your “soul system” which lets you add an unreal amount of customization to your class. This is where Rift starts to shine compared to other MMOs, with the soul system you are able to branch off into many subcategories for your class. I play a Cleric, a spell casting class but within my Cleric class I can choose to sub spec into one of 9 subclasses. Without a doubt this is the most customization of your character I have ever seen in an MMO. You also are not limited to only picking one soul tree, Rift allows you multiple specs which allows you to switch from one soul to another at a moments notice depending on what the situation calls for.

Although overwhelming at first glance, it’s actually pretty easy
to start speccing into your desired gameplay style

Rift‘s gameplay may not be anything ground breaking but once again it’s incredibly polished for a new MMO. The quest system is your standard “Kill 20 of these monsters” and “My daughter has been kidnapped and I need your help to get her back” quests but that’s not to say they aren’t immersive. As you quest through the different areas in Telara you get a very nice mixture of areas, from forest and mountain areas to desert and snow areas. The great thing about Rift is at any moment while you are questing a rift invasion or a world rift can open at any moment. A rift invasion is a smaller rift in which enemies come in waves and you are encouraged to help push them back. Rift succeeds in the sense that you actually care about stopping an invasion, you are rewarded with items and by purging the area you get to continue doing whatever it was that you were doing. A world rift on the other hand takes that to a whole other level. The skies darken, the ground trembles as a rift opens, as waves of monsters are unleashed to destroy anything and everything in their path. After you defeat the monsters a “mini boss” type monster appears which is considerably harder than that of a normal rift. Anyone that is in the area and helps take part in the slaying of the mini boss is rewarded with higher-level items and currency.

Not all enemies are so easy to look at

Adding to the huge world of open world PVE are the group dungeon and warfronts in the game. I mean what are MMOs without the group experience of 5 man dungeons and PVP? The dungeons in Rift are properly tuned not too hard so that a casual like me can’t complete it, and for the hardcore they are able to enter these dungeons at max level (50) as an “expert dungeon”. My favorite dungeon at the moment is The Iron Tombs; the complexity of the encounters and the mobs is impressive for such an early level dungeon. For those who want to kill fewer boars and more players they are able to enter Warfronts, Warfronts are the battlegrounds of Rift where warfare between the two factions takes on games of capture the flag and resource capping. The maps are fairly balanced with nice choke points and terrain strategy (always take the higher ground, duh), as with all MMOs you are reliant on other players so it can be frustrating to see AFKers and people who are less capable at the PVP aspect of the game.

A rift is truly a sight to behold

If I had to describe Rift in one word it would be “complete”. I have never played such a polished MMO right out of the box. With the open world rift invasions, the solid 5 man dungeons and the competitive PVP Warfronts it’s hard not to always be busy doing something in the game. Tolara is an immersive world, the player customization is robust, and the quest system has a nice leveling flow to it. I recommend Rift to veteran MMO players as well as those new to the genre, it has a little bit of everything with a world that is ever evolving.

Fire is bad, don’t stand in it, don’t get near it, in fact don’t even look at it.


DEVELOPER: Armor Games

Progress: 100% (Normal Difficulty) 

I stumbled upon a late night gem. Fragger. I know some of you out there are internet game skeptics, but some of them are fun, even if fleeting. If you’ve got 30 minutes or an hour to spare, you can play and probably beat this game. (Well on normal level difficulty).

The concept of the game is to aim your arrow (your throwing arm) and throw grenades at the pinhead goofball looking gray guys. The first couple of levels are very easy and you steam through. Once they throw in the chimneys, pipes and explosives the game gets more interesting. There was a hint button, which will take you to a link that will show you a YouTube clip of how to beat the level. I didn’t need it but was tempted to look at levels 21 and 30. Oh yeah, the game only has 30 levels so it’s quick. Didn’t I say that before? After you beat the game you get access to the hard level difficulty and your army man gets to throw more than one grenade at one time. Granted, I got a couple levels in and didn’t want to play anymore; I’m sure the game gets very difficult. It’s a fun 30 minute post 12:00 pm computer puzzle gaming action. It’s fun give it a try. And come on who doesn’t like blowing things up with grenades?

Game Link: Fragger  

Grade: B
Grenade them Suckas 




Progress: 11 of 19 rooms
Have you seen the movie The Cube? Portal is a puzzle game that looks like that movie and plays as a first person shooter; the only thing, is you’re not really shooting anything. Set in the mysterious Aperture Science Laboratories, Portal has been called one of the most innovative video games and offers gamers hours of unique gameplay. The story begins with you in a room, with a voice telling you that your taking part in an experiment, that your job is to make it through the puzzles that are set before you. The gun you see in the banner above is your Portal Gun which you acquire almost right away. The Portal Gun enables you to create portals which are imperative to traverse through the different rooms, each with their own unique puzzle. Of course I’d heard of it, read some stories about it but just never played Portal myself. That is, until last week when developer Valve decided to give Portal away for free for a limited time; and before you ask, both PC and Mac editions are available.

The graphics are nothing special but it doesn’t matter.  This game’s original idea and addictive game play are why people are still playing it so many years later. I believe the designers were very smart to go with the very simple, The Cube, aesthetic. All the clean surfaces and bright lights hide the fact there is very little textures and shading. The rooms are sparse, save for maybe one or two traps. So far I’ve encountered only floating lights and boxes, which you use to activate necessary switches. The game is narrated by an ominous computer voice, part of the experiment in which you are involved.

What’s the catch you may be wondering? I know what you Mac people are thinking: “A game?! None-the-less a FREE one?”. Well it seams Valve wants you to download Steam. Steam is a very cool looking content delivery system. What’s that? It’s like how your iPhone is a content delivery system it can download different apps for you to play or rather an iTunes for games. Steam can download different games for you to play from the Valve library. My guess is that someone felt if you have this content delivery system on your computer you just might buy something. Steam comes in at 256mb and has stored about 4 gigs of info in my documents folder which I assume is the game.

The first thing I noticed when firing up Portal is I already knew how to play. Movement is based off of the regular first person controls. Players must solve physical puzzles and challenges including opening portals and maneuvering objects (and themselves) through space. I’ve played twice since downloading. The first time I went straight through six chapters with a little luck and some Fringe-like thinking. The second time I found myself through to room 11 before I got stuck and decided to write this. This game really makes you think out of the box (pun intended).

Download Portal and give it a whirl. You know you’ve been curious about it — and you can always delete it. Thanks for the game, Valve. Hurry you only have until Monday, May 24th to download for FREE.


Thanks to reader jfajitas, who is in a Facebook relationship with his PC gaming set up, for sending in the link.

The thinking man’s first person shooter

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