Posts Tagged ‘MAG’

Backlog Barrage! Shootin’ Dudes In The Face Edition

December 19, 2010

MAG Publisher: Sony  /  Developer: Zipper
Platform: PS3 /  Genre: FPS  /  Release Date: January 26, 2010

MAG is easily my biggest surprise this generation. Until this generation, I had pretty much no interest in FPS games and even less interest in playing them online. Heck, I wasn’t even interested in MAG until the week leading up to release where I decided to pre-order this online only game at the last possible moment. I am really glad I did, as I have spent an ungodly amount of time with this tactical squad based shooter.

Yes, you are basically running around shooting people the whole time like any other shooter. However, since it is all objective based it feels totally different. People fall into roles, medics, snipers, engineers, and so on. You can mix and match these abilities, weapons, and equipment to make load-outs that suit different situations and your play style. This customization is great and being able to re-spec relatively cheaply makes it so you can always try out new gear or revise your character if you ended up not liking your build.

The main draw to MAG is the sheer number of players. It depends on the mode you are playing, but in Domination the game supports 256 players. You won’t see all of these players on screen at once, unless everyone swarms one area, but they are there and it really feels like a massive battle is taking place. Even in the smaller game modes there is a large number of players, so the game never feels empty. And like I said before, since it is objective based you are able to gain experience points by doing more than just killing enemies. Actually, healing and other objective based goals usually yield more points so it encourages players to help each other as opposed to just run off all lone wolf style.

If there was only one shooter I could have played this year, it would have been MAG. The sheer amount of players, tactical gameplay, customization, and feel of the game have made it one of my favorite games of 2010.

SCORE: 9/10

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Medal of Honor Publisher: EADeveloper: Danger Close, DICE
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC /  Genre: FPS  /  Release Date: October 12, 2010

Once again I find myself scratching my head and coming to a different conclusion then most “reviewers” of a game I played. Medal of Honor got a lot of mixed reviews, and a lot of the negatives came from being compared to other games. I can see why one would compare a FPS to the other FPS’s on the market, but to mark it down for not being those games is just stupid. Let Medal of Honor be its own game. That is why it doesn’t play like the two main shooters it was compared to. It’s like they want every game to be the same. Anyway, that is a whole other topic so let me get back on topic.

Medal of Honor comes at the FPS genre in a much less arcady and more realistic direction. You can’t dual wield shotguns, you can’t really run and gun your way through a level. You are meant to be more cautious and more precise. The atmosphere of the game lends itself to this style. I’m not going to say it is actually realistic, but in comparison to the other shooters on the market it sure does feel more real. Hell, even with all the jumping around between characters I still ended up caring for them throughout their trials.

The multiplayer aspect feels a little more fast paced than the single player, but over all it isn’t your typical run and gun (unless you only play the deathmatch modes). The most popular mode, and one I played the most is Combat Mission. This is a team objective based mode. You have to defend strategic spots, or attack them. These are played on larger maps and include limited vehicles. I really enjoyed this mode in particular a lot, and the overall multiplayer experience in general. You level up one of three classes as you play (able to switch load outs and class during your re-spawn), and unlock weapons and mods as you do so. I wish there were more unlocks and more customization, but that is a minor complaint.

So despite some of the poor reviews I really hope EA plans to keep Medal of Honor heading in this direction. If they are able to work out some of the flaws I think they could make a modern FPS that can hang with the other big FPS franchises on the market right now. If you are tired of some of the other shooters I’d easily recommend getting this game.

SCORE: 8/10

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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Publisher: EADeveloper: DICE
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC /  Genre: FPS  /  Release Date: March 2, 2010

I ended up getting Battlefield: Bad Company 2 much later than its initial release date, but I’m glad I finally got around to playing it. There are some noticeable changes form the first game which may change how you feel about the game overall. I personally didn’t mind the change to a more linear format in the single-player. You are not as free to pick a path in a level, but there is still a lot of room to maneuver and choose your path through the environments.

The other notable change is the interaction of the characters during the story. There is a more serious tone to this game than the previous one. It isn’t as serious as the most recent Medal of Honor game, but the characters aren’t cracking the same jokes during cut scenes as they did in the first game. They do still have their more personal and usually amusing conversations as you move through a level. The down side is that if they start talking during a firefight you may not be able to really hear them with all the gun fire, explosions, and crumbling buildings. Which is a shame as I really enjoyed the joking conversations these characters had. It’s still there, but you have to pay attention to catch most of them.

Even with these changes the single-player is still a lot of fun, but that will only last you several hours. After that, you’ll want to turn your attention to the multiplayer. Here you can spend a ton of time ranking up your different classes and unlocking a ton of gear. I was once again drawn into the more team oriented multiplayer modes. Which have you either attacking or defending positions.

If you play FPS’s you’ll feel right at home, but the destructible buildings really change up how you approach taking or defending a position. This along with the different classes and characters found in the single-player are what makes it feel different from the other major FPS on the market. Which is a very good thing in my opinion.

SCORE: 8/10

Too Many Games, Too Little Time

May 28, 2010

So I haven’t been posting on here as much as I would like. I’ve especially fallen behind in my reviews, but there are good reasons for this. The main reason is because of my new job, which takes a lot out of me most days. However, that isn’t the only reason. Almost as guilty as my new job, is the sheer amount of games out right now. My backlog is huge, and has grown even more this past month. It’s been hard to concentrate on just one game, or to choose writing over actually playing more of these games. I will be making a effort to complete some reviews and with E3 coming post some of my reactions to the news that comes out of the event. But for the time being, here is a short list with some very brief impressions of the games that have been keeping me busy.

MAG

I’ve played way too much of this game by now. Hell, I think I’ve dumped more time into it than any RPG that’s been released this generation. That is saying a lot. I also still plan on spending more time with it, especially when the new DLC comes out. It is probably the biggest surprise for me this year, and one of the games I’ve had the most fun playing.

Lost Planet 2

I’m still rather early in the campaign mode of Lost Planet 2, but I’ve been spending a fair amount of time playing the competitive multiplayer. Sadly, I think this game is getting roughed up a bit in reviews. Yes, there are things that could be improved. I think a lot of people just don’t like the way the game controls, but to me it just has its own feeling and that it isn’t a bad thing. I can see myself playing the co-op and competitive modes for quit some time.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Yes I am still playing this from time to time. Recently I’ve spent more time with the multiplayer, especially with the double cash weekends. I’m not too sure how much longer I’ll stick with the multiplayer, but I will be going back to the single player to get some more trophies and just to enjoy one of the best games of this generation.

Final Fantasy XIII

Well, I don’t really know what to say about this game yet. I’ve spent way too much time in it to not finish it, but it will be one of those games I’ll let sit while I finish other games. It is just rather disappointing that I’ve waited so long for this game, and then it comes out and I find myself not wanting to play it. Hopefully it will peak my interest again since I’m just getting to the “good” part of the game according to most people.

Red Dead Redemption

Unlike FFXIII, Red Dead Redemption is actually living up to my excitement and maybe even surpassing it. I’m not too far into the story, as every time I start riding around in the world I find a new side mission, some animals to hunt, mini-games, or superb environments to get lost in. I know I will be spending a lot of time with this game, especially because I’ve been really enjoying the multiplayer aspect of it as well.

Monster Hunter Tri

This game can be a massive time sink. I haven’t put a ton of hours into it yet, but that’s mainly due to other games and the fact that I’m not very good at the game. I really enjoy it, and can easily see how people could spend tons time with this game. Hopefully I’ll find time to play some of the online portion and start to not suck at it so I can progress in the game.

Then there are some games I’ve only barely touched but want to spend more time with. Some of these games are 3D Dot Game Heroes, Yakuza 3, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and then some DLC for older games. I can’t remember being this busy with so many good games. Thankfully I don’t know of many more games coming out right now so maybe I can start to catch up my posts and growing backlog. Although, with E3 right around the corner I’m sure we’ll see new games and get release dates for games I am interested in. So maybe the real answer it to stop going to work and just play more games.


My Initial MAG Impressions

February 2, 2010

MAG (formerly Massive Action Game) is probably one of the worse and shallow named games ever, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a surprisingly deep game. I’m not sure if I’ll end up doing a review on this game, but I just wanted to give some of my impressions of the game so far.

First of all, let me begin by saying I had no intention of getting this game. I had no interest in it at all. I never looked into trying the beta, and have never been a big fan of online multiplayer (especially in FPS). So why the heck am I playing MAG like a mad man all of the sudden? Hell, I don’t even fully understand it but that is why I wanted to write about it.

MAG may look like a normal FPS, but it feels so different to me than other FPS games. I have no problem with playing the single-player aspects of the more twitchy FPS games. However, I was never compelled to go online in those games. Knowing how they are usually filled with obnoxious and loud kids was one of the main reasons I didn’t care to dive into them. They seemed to attract people I would never really want to interact with. So jumping into an online only game like MAG seemed like it would be a total nightmare, but that is not the case at all.

A few days before the release of MAG I started getting really interested in the game. Like I said before, I don’t even know why my interest was peaked. Maybe it was some of the videos I started seeing, maybe it was the leveling up system I started reading about, and then there was the teamwork aspect of the game.. I guess it was a lovely combination of all these things. So on a whim I decided to go ahead and pick the game up. Taking my first real dive into the world of online multiplayer, and I am so glad I did.

Since I got MAG I haven’t put another game in my PS3. It starts off a little rough, but quickly grew on me. You will die often when you first start playing, especially if you aren’t familiar with the maps, the game itself, and online shooters. I am primarily an RPG guy, so this was pretty much all new territory for me. Luckily, they start you off on smaller maps and a team deathmatch mode. This allows you to get familiar with game’s controls, guns, and the overall feel. After you gain some levels and skill points you can start crafting your character. I picked up some medic skills as it seemed like they are always needed and can really help your team. I also picked up a couple upgrades to my guns, which made a huge difference in how I could play with them. These skills really started to make my character play how I wanted to play. This leveling system is great and has me really involved in it like an RPG would.

I’ve started playing the larger game modes now. It is just amazingly fun and addictive. I’ll sign on to play just a few matches and then realize hours have passed. Like I’ve said, I am not a huge FPS fan but MAG has a different feel and these little hooks that have me thoroughly enjoying it.

I guess the main difference in the gameplay that is resonating with me is how it is more tactical than your average FPS. Playing as a team makes a huge difference. You don’t need a mic, but if you have one it would be a good thing. Although as long as your leader and a few others have mics you should be fine. This way they can call out enemies, objectives, plans, and when they need a medic or mechanic. Holding down a specific spot with a team feels great, like you are really contributing to a team and a larger cause. You can’t just run around the vast maps trying to take down squads on your own. This will pretty much guarantee a quick death.

If you are a little hesitant about the game due to its size, or because you are a “noob” like me, I’d say don’t fret about it. You should really consider giving this game a shot. I’d think MAG is a must own for all FPS fans. For people like me who primarily grew up on RPGs, action games, platformers, and other single-player games should also give MAG a much closer look. Like me, you could easily become entrenched in deep and tactical FPS that will scratch your RPG itch as well.