Fun n Games

This is a blog about my thoughts and ideas related to computer/video games design, management, usability, testing, bugs, critiques etc...anything that does not have to do with programming!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Replay - Call of Duty

Call of Duty

I never got a chance to take a serious look at Call of Duty and I must say this is an old game (relatively) compared to some of the games that I am playing at the moment. Infinity Ward the guys behind the game have done a great job with the game giving you different weapons from different countries perspectives, the US, Russian and English to be precise the mechanics are very smooth and they make for a very interesting gameplay experience. However there were a few complains I had with the game so I am going to dwell on those mostly

  1. The game was too damn short...I played it on the PC on medium setting and I must have taken a little under 7 hours to run through the game while it was great for my ego which felt great about finishing a game in 3 sittings straight but the gamer in me was ticked off that such a short gameplay time for a good game like this.
  2. Why on earth would you enter a battlefield without a weapon? I can understand if you are caught and taken as a prisoner of war then you are "surviving of the land" but in other conditions you should be able to scyphone a weapon some how...the level in stalingrad where you have no weapon I passed at least a dozen soldiers who were dead with their rifles at an arm length from me why would i not be able to pick one of them and start blasting away. If they did want to add difficulty you could make it such that if you are not a rifleman and you pick a rifle your aim would be awful this could have been done easily by adjusting the crosshair as it moves in motion
  3. Either get the controls of the tank right or dont have a tank level...there was I think a couple of short levels in which you had to steer a tank they were just a pain in the butt to navigate. The levels did not last 5-6 mins tops but they felt like an age by themselves. Please please give me control of the damn machine gun, the games AI failed to recognize that there was this stupid lone soldier with an anti tank panzer whatever and he kept shooting at me right in front of my nose and the machine guy cant take him out!!!!
  4. There were at least 3 or 4 instances where I got stuck in places where I could not get out of maybe I crawled in some space and then I just got stuck no matter what I tries crouch, crawl jump or walk I could not get out of there the best thing to do was to throw grenades at myself and restart from the last check one instance I ran out of grenades so I had to kill one of my fellow men and the game promptly threw me out sayin I am a traitor to the motherland...frustrating? You bet!
So here is what I thought about the game. How to improve it?

  • Add a level where you are taken prisoner of war with other people and have to survive using minimal weapons and melee attacks, a little bit of stealth would not hurt, but dont make the player switch to being Sam Fisher!
  • A much better tank level with a little more gameplay and complete control over the tank.
  • A longer game!
  • Last but not least some levels that would require you to traverse beaches etc. I think I am not putting it across well in wors but something like different locales than the ones already in the game...maybe thats asking too much
Overall a fun game I think I am gonna go through some other similar games in that genre and see how they measure up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Little Known Games 01 - OMF 2097

Here is the first in the series (hopefully!) of smaller games that I have come across and have liked a lot. I will try and keep this straightforward...make no discrimination about how big the budget was or whether it was 2D or 3D or released on a very niche platform. I will give credits to any images etc. I use by defalut I am using Mobygames as my image source unless I mention otherwise

OMF 2097

This was a game that I played years ago I think somewhere in the mid 90's I got a copy of the demo version of the game in one of the computer magazines that I was subscribing at least that is how I remember it. I had played Mortal Kombat whichever version was current then so I was not very knew to the 1 on 1 fighting genre of games but what caught my eye with this game was that it was not humans fighting but huge robots that were fighting in different arenas and yo could use those arenas. However being in 2D you did not get much of the feel about the robots being huge. The game had very simple and I must add intuitive controls. The usual kicks and punches and two special moves per robot thats it no more complications, no "up-up-down-left-right-jump-punch-kick" to shoot a tornado of fire at opponents and no such fancy weapons or thumb numbing combos.

It did allow you to combine the kicks and punches but the keystrokes never crossed more than five. I guess thats what I liked. It had a very nice system of upgrading your robot and customizing it with colors. However the game made more sense as a complete package. You get in fight and win money based on how you fight. You can upgrade armor, or you could spend the money earned in getting differenmt attributes like agility, defense, strength etc. increased. You could take a very puny robot and play enough with it and make it a monster which could not be defeated. Imagine all this in just the demo. I played a lot of hours with that game. What they also had was a cool feature which converted the entire match into a story with you being the central character of the story, whether in the shame of defeat or the pride of victory. This coupled with the choice of robots was enough to whet your appetite. But i was not finished i wanted to take advantage of all the different arenas, tournaments and robots available in the full version. However I did not find the game in the market and had to just satisfy myself with the demo only. But somehow I knew I would play the full game so I ade a monster character with al the files and saved the character as a backup in my files I changed computers but the files remained with me. Finally I managed to get my hand on the full version of the game 3 years later...but by then the computers were too fast for the game and the game ran at an incredulous speed and I just couldnt compete :-(

What I liked most about the game was the way it took my character and the name I gave it and put it in the center of the stage making ME very important. I think a game that gives you that kind of personal sense of victory or achievement and boosts your ego a bit encouraging you to do good. This apart from the very simplistic game mechanics and controls made this game or rather its demo a very enjoyable experience.

The makers of the game have released a new version in 3D called OMF Battlegrounds which I also liked because of the way you can use the arena in which you fight. but I havent been that crazy about it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

too many games too little time

I know a lot of people will relate with me on this one, or is it just me. there are too many games (not al good mind you!) that require your time attention and not to mention the money. I am interested in playing thse games for two reasons one simply because they entertain me. But th other is from the point of a designer and a hard core reviewer that sits inside me looking for innovative, irritating and funny things in them, simple to marvel or feel the anguish behind deigns. So enough blah currently i am playing these games...

Far Cry
Burnout 3
Prince of Persia Warrior Within
Meda of Honor: Rising Sun and
Splinters Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Wow thats a lot of them...I consider a game to be active if I play it atleast an hour every week for sure. From my next post I will write observations on each of these games if possible with screenshots. However the frequency depends on how much time I have after playing these games and doing the multitude of things I get myself involved into. Hopefully it will be soon enough.