Tuesday, January 11, 2011

League of Legends review

League of Legends
leagueoflegends.com

Publisher: Riot Game
riotgames.com

Strengths:
* Great variety and number of champions/heroes to chose from.
* It is free to play online.
*There is masteries/runes upgrading system /similar to WoW talents/ to upgrade your master summoner and provide bonuses to your heroes.

Weakness:
* The graphics are very cartoonish and the heroes look like placed roughly on the background.
* Some heroes are poorly balanced – some are very strong at start/late games, some are strong only at late games and some are very week during the whole match-up.
* Purchasing system to unlock heroes and runes to upgrade your summoner. Now this could actually be looked as an advantage but for some people it is just not fair to not have access to all heroes from the start.

If you are hardcore gamer you have most probably played Warcraft 3 most popular map: Defense of the ancients, known as DotA Allstars - www.playdota.com. Some time ago the creator of DotA-Allstars.com posted a message for the ancestor of the game and welcomed all former DotA players into League of Legends.

League of Legends has the same gameplay idea as DotA. You select one champion and you team up either with 2 or 4 more people and try to win over the opposing team. All the champions are unique and have unique abilities. So far League of Legends has two maps to play your matches on. The first one is designed for 3v3 matchups and the other map is for the 5v5 matchups. The graphics of the surrounding elements are ok, but champions and monsters look very cartoonish. The characters are well animated though some of the movements look very stiff.

The gameplay is extremely addictive and this will be confirmed by all DotA: Allstars former players. If you never played DotA – the game is similar to Counter Strike but with much greater variety. You level up your champion through the entire game, you upgrade your abilities, you purchase better items in struggle to dominate over your opponents, etc… Hardcore DotA: Allstars players used to play the game for over 5 years. Generally, you do not need to invest too much time daily to become and stay a good player. And the game is interesting even when you are in your game number 1000. There are so many heroes /over 60/ and so many combinations of skills/items available that you will never get tired of trying to find and use different strategies, items and partners to crush your opponents. The champions are basically 3 main types: tanks, DPS and support. The tanks gather items to have plenty of hit points to be able to live after great amount of damage. The DPS characters are weaker regarding health but usually do significant damage to the enemies’ heroes. Support heroes use different abilities to turn around the battle and the match-up in your favor. Some of those abilities are: heal, stun, slow, teleport, move fast, or impact in different ways your other co-players.

The sounds and the voices in the game are pretty ok. There are several improvements in the engine as well. The most important one is that if a player is disconnected from the game/for example due to connection problems/ he or she is allowed to reconnect back and play with the teammates in the same game again. Also the shop is pretty advanced right now, and there are recommended items for every character. No more wondering if this life-steal sword is suitable for your warrior-mage.

Conclusion:
Play League of Legends and you will become an addict in short time. The gameplay is so good that you will come back for more and more battles. The graphics are ok, and if you can live on with the cartoonish style I guarantee that you will be playing this for years.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Syberia review

Syberia
/official site/

Publisher: Microids    
www.microids.com
Strengths:
* Amazing graphics.
* Great and intriguing story.
* Absolutely sucking-in atmosphere.
* Intuitive puzzles and very good developed gameplay.

Weakness:
* Sometimes you might get stuck. In this case just try to use your phone to call somebody.
* Hardcore adventurer gamers might find the game quite short.

Syberia is absolute diamond among the adventure games. You are taking the role of Kate Wilson – a cold-blood New York lawyer who has a special mission in Europe. In the small village of Valadilene you need to seal a deal regarding the ownership of the local automatons factory. Entering the game you will see a funeral procession escorted by automatons /robots/ instead of living people. Unfortunately the owner of the company Anna Voralberg just passed away and you need to find the only heir of the factory now – her younger brother Hans Voralberg. And this is how your fantastic adventure begins.

You will undertake a great journey using a mechanical train. You will pass through four areas to complete the game. The first one is located at French Alps and is called Valadilene. You will need to find a way to finish the production of an automaton engineer which will drive the train through the rest of the world. In the mean time you will fall deep inside the heartbreaking story of Voralberg’s family. At the end you will leave the village in a search for Hans Voralberg.

Your next location to visit is going to be Barrockstadt. It is a great university location with amazingly beautiful garden/station and decorations. You just stop here because your train needs to be winded up again before you could move on. You will need to accomplish several tasks before you could wind up the train and leave out Barrockstadt though.

Stopping in Komkolzgrad to wind up your train again will turn out to be very dangerous. There is a madman left in an old mine who will steal the hands of your train driver companion and will ask a big favor to return them. Now you are in a whole new adventure searching for an ex-star singer Helena Romanski. You not only need to find her but pursue her to come back with you to Komkolzgrad and sing on a stage for the mine chief. At this point as part of your adventures you will even send a person to the space with a spaceship shuttle designed by Hans, long time ago. Then you are going to use an air ship to reach your next destination.

Arriving at Aralbad will put you in melancholic state immediately. This should have been a great resort once upon a time but now the building and the surroundings are paying the toll of time and the lack of new visitors. You will find your old lady singer there and after creating a miracle cocktail for her to regain her beautiful voice, she will come back and help you release your train from Komkolzgrad. There the madman mine chief will try to imprison the singer forever but you will manage to free her and escape back to Aralbad with your train. Finally you will find Hans Voralberg there and he will sign up the contract completing your entire mission.

At the end of the game you still need to make your final choice. You could either return back to New York or continue your journey with Hans and help him achieve his childhood dream – finding the living mammoths somewhere in Syberia. And I am sure you are going to guess what Kate’s choice will be.



Conclusion:
Syberia is such beautiful and story engaging game that it is a shame to be missed out. The story is very strong, the characters are very strong and unique and the gameplay is absolutely intuitive and fun. The sounds are also great and all characters have their own voices corresponding to their personalities. It is a must to play this game even if you are not a fan of the adventure games genre.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to play online games behind firewall


In this article I am going to address an issue with playing online games on a computer with restricted connection. This will also help you in case the administrators are spying on your computer and you want to hide your direct traffic.


If you are wondering:

How to play games if the administrator closed certain ports?
How to play games if you are behind firewall?
How to play games while working without getting caught?
How to play games from university/school computers?
this article is for you.

This method could be used to play MMORPG games like Guild Wars and World of Warcraft or even browsing the Internet without revealing your real connections.

Step 1.
Go to: http://www.your-freedom.net/ and register with them. It is completely free. Then download the full client here - http://www.your-freedom.net/index.php?id=downloads and install it on your machine.

Step 2.
Download SocksCap32.
This could be done in many places on the Internet but first try here:
http://www.onlinedown.com/detail/4894.htm
Install SocksCap32

Step 3.
Run Your Freedom. Complete the process and add your username/password where asked /account information/. On the ports tabs be sure to have checkbox near “SOCKS 4/5 Port 1080” – leave the port 1080. Then start connection and connect to the server with the lowest latency /the nearest one to you/.

Step 4.
Run SocksCap 32 V2. Go to -> File -> Settings and fill out the SOCKS Server with:
127.0.0.1 | Port: 1080
Make sure there is a checkbox near SOCKS Version 4.
Go to -> File -> New and browse to select the executable file of the application you want to run behind the firewall. If it is World of Warcraft for example you would be looking for WoW.exe. The application will be shown in the window below. With Your Freedom running and connected, just run the application from SocksCap and enjoy. This way you could connect to any online game server and play any online game behind firewall or restricted connection.