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Archive for the ‘PC’ Category

Farming Simulator 2009 Review (PC)

Posted by Editor On August - 31 - 2009

farming

I watched I Am Legend a few months back and I got lost in thought afterwards about what it would like to be on my own if a plague wiped out the rest of mankind and trying to be self sufficient. Apart from hoarding all the video games, Blu rays and all the technology I could get my greedy, lonesome hands on I would have to starting thinking about food. Yeah, I would start stock piling canned food and freezing allot of the rest with my warehouse full of generators but I would need fresh stuff and that means livestock and running a farm. I have an idea about how to run a farm but in no way enough to actually do it.

So luckily I got sent a copy of Farming Simulator 2009 to try out. I was actually a bit interested in doing this game because I wanted to find out the little stuff you don’t think about if you are curious about how a farm runs (yeah I heard myself say that too, I’m sure that if I didn’t have my weird “last man alive” fantasy I wouldn’t care).

To start with you get career or missions. I can’t help but think that a game that is all about farming is mislabelling its one off tutorials and challenges with the word “missions”. Fair enough you get bronze, silver or gold for doing each task in the shortest time you can but, still. Anyway after I did the tutorials (which took forever) I set about my patch o’ land and mowed it, cultivated it by turning the soil, seeded it waited for the seasons to do their thing and then, bang… Crops.


Ok, so in career mode you start off with a small selection of not very good farming equipment and a patch of land to slave over you have inherited from someone(your sister must have gotten the IBM stock). It’s all a bit daunting to begin with and with so much stuff in front of you you’re not sure where to start. Ok, I’m gonna mow that field, good start. Then seed it with….

…Spoilt for choice, there are 4 crops to choose from in the game including barley (beer awesome), corn (sweetcorn awesome), Wheat (bread awesome) and canola(…awesome?). Seeding costs money and you have to go a certain speed around the field, no extreme tractor usage here, this is a sim ladies and gents. After a while, I confess I was getting bored going around the field dozens of times but with different equipment on the front/back of my tractor.

See, when I first got this game I was excited about the idea of running a farm, doing the chores, fixing fences and maintaining the live stock. But this is a true Farming Simulator for the year 2009. You don’t get farms that do all those things any more. They concentrate on one crop or one type of animal, two at a stretch. In this game it’s all about the agriculture and your choice of crop. I was looking forward to cows, chickens, sheep and doing everything to keep them health and cultivating crops etc.

Ok so you get to play in a sandbox environment that is basically an island with your farm taking up the majority of it. There is a farm merchant where you buy all your new stuff from provided you have had a good harvest and you get better trade in cost on old machinery if the local residents like you (so no being drunk and naked, driving your tractor into Mrs Doyets house asking her if she wants a spin on your seed sowing machine).


You can take a look around the island but I found this a passing pleasure and an unneeded distraction to the game. I would have preferred a farming game that allowed me to do or at least choose from agriculture and live stock or a mix of both. Eventual rewards are gold medals in the missions but in the career mode it’s selling and stocking crops for a good year’s growth for a healthy turnover. It can get quite tiresome game wise and I did wish for more to do but essentially the game could go on forever.

Graphics wise its ok. The scenery is clean but the crops and some of the environment does suffer from pop-up in detail but this may be manageable by the settings in the game. I had it at its highest performance but I’m confident that my Dual SLI 8800’s and my quad core processor could take anything it wanted to throw at me (saying that, not many have this kind of setup would be buying this game). Sounds are fairly decent in the game, no music though so you will have to source that yourself.

Was I disappointed? Yes. Could the game have offered more? Yes. But then if you’re getting a game about modern farming you know what you’re buying anyway. I will wait tentatively for the Post Zombie Apocalypse Farming Sim which not only includes agriculture and live stock but the occasional run and gun situation when a zombie harasses your chickens. Modern agriculture farming, Sir? Look no further than Farming Simulator 2009. For that little bit more I say wait for a complete farming sim from Astragon/GIANTS software or for my Zombie Apocalypse; Hunter-Farmer. Reviewed on the PC. Cuz’ I got a brand new combine harvester, An’ I’ll give you the key!


Review

ProsCons
Realistic simulator, Farming Tasks,Boring gameplay, repeatitive & tiresome
Rating
40%

Mini Ninjas Impressions

Posted by Editor On August - 30 - 2009

Mini Ninjas is shaping up to be one of the most quirkly and likeable platformers in years.

Euro Truck Simulator Gold: PC

Posted by Editor On August - 30 - 2009

truckcase“A truck driving sim?” I said to James, “A TRUCKING …..sim?!” Yes he says, and hands it over to me. Euro Truck Simulator Gold Edition says the front cover. I look back at him with a look of confusion. “….You Photoshopped this, right?” by this time both of my friends sat next to me are in fits of laughter. “No, now get to reviewing” so I did with full intention of finding a virus or incriminating photos on the disk. To my surprise it installed a game…a real game.

With an open (and surprised) mind I set about seeing what’s what. You start out with your own business set up in the European country of choice. I chose England (being that I live here and i have the Gold Edition of the game allowing access to it) and set about choosing my first truck. You start with €100,000 to spend on a truck and can only get Class C. Better Classes are unlocked later and can be bought with the money your earn.

Controls are very FPS, with controls accelerating, left, right and brake/reverse as WASD or arrow keys and mouse control for in cab view movement. Various number keys for multiple views (top down of picking up trailers and unloading them at depots).

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Mad Skills Motocross: PC

Posted by Editor On August - 30 - 2009

Turborilla list themselves as a developer who makes fun games. In fact it’s their websites tag line with the word fun in italics. I had visited the website after I had played the game they sent me and I do agree with the tag line. This looks like the first game Turborilla have gotten out into the world and I get a warm glow knowing I maybe one of the first to review it. Made by Tobias and Peter, this game is Mad Skills Motocross.

Ok, out of the gate this game is nice and simple. You are a Motocross biker (if you haven’t guessed that by now, go sit in the corner for a few minutes) and you have to finish each course and beat your opponent played by the computer. It’s presented in a semi 3D side scrolling format with perspective layered out with you in front and your opponent behind and the background falling off into the sunset

The controls are simple with a throttle, brake, special, lean left and lean right. I first mapped the keys to my mouse (left click throttle, right brake, wheel special) and found out after a few matches that my guy wasn’t leaning right or left and making wincing snapping noises when he hit the ground. Moving the mouse lent him in the right direction but I found it fiddly and didn’t produce the results I wanted. I later settled for the keyboard with throttle space bar, right arrow lean right, left lean left, down for brake and up for special, simple.

Here comes the big jump! - Mad Skills Motorcross

I finally started winning a few races with the new control system under my belt and I found it a good laugh. I did break for an hour to get something to eat but the entire time I was thinking about how I could beat the computer on certain tracks and working out the best way to land on certain jumps. After a hasty sandwich I had to go back and test my theories. No way some computer is gonna out Motocross me.

I powered on through division 1 with some nice stops along the way for challenges and to learn some specials. With division 2 came I was barely winning. I took me an hour to overcome one certain track (I won’t say which one you can work it out)but finally beat it and did a lap around the house in victory.

Graphics in Mad Skills Motocross are nice and bright and are indicative of the style of the game. Nothing here is Crysis but it doesn’t have to be to be fun. The physics are good and make you feel the leaning of the biker and when going over bumps or landing from big air. It becomes a strategy game of sorts after a while, planning your landings so you don’t land toward or backwards and then going arse over tit.

The game has 5 Divisions with about 10 tracks in each. Playing the 4th division alone takes some mad skill (see what I did there?) and you will be doing the levels over and over again just to beat the computer. Different divisions get you different course to play on that vary in the background and colour so the eye doesn’t get bored. Level design is mostly ramps, bumps and traps in various forms and shapes and the game has 50 unique tracks to use and abuse and if they don’t tickle your fancy then make your own with the games track editor.

Levels unlock and you get “specials” including “Jumparoo” which blasts the bike into the air allowing for better jumps, balance yourself out or to jump ahead. Too keep things interesting you can pull stunts off in all the normal levels including wheelies, back flips and front flips and a few more. Beat the computer is each but can you do it and get 3 wheelies and 3 back flips in that level as well?

Beautiful vistas but a terrible saddle rash!

I think I know the people who would play this game. Firstly, those who just love Motocross games (mostly all in flash format) and just want more. Casual gamers who have been given this as a gift. Those who get bored at work and buy this and start a league around the office and finally, the boss who tries to look like he isn’t playing it when you walk into his office because he wants to see you about why the team is so unproductive lately.

No multiplayer exists at the moment but this isn’t a game for playing online. If you want to play a friend, email each other your finishing time for levels or take it in turns if you’re one of those people who invite friends around.

Motocross was never a sport I had been interest in before so a game had little chance with me on first impressions but this little game has opened my horizons. This isn’t a high end games console or PC game but that’s not what it is meant to be. It’s a fun, causal game for those who have an empty afternoon, a few minutes before you have to leave for the dentist or those who has a work place they hate and need a fun distraction.

It is almost as if this could have been a flash game (in fact i think i have seen one with motocross) if the graphics had been pulled down allot. It is great if you can get some use out of this game and do fancy a more in-depth Motocross experience without having to resort to a console or a high end PC. I will come back to this again in the future taking 5 minutes here and there, the only thing I fear is that it won’t be only 5 minutes here and there but turn into an hour or 2. If you fancy a go download the demo from Turborilla’s website and if you like it stump up the cash for the full thing. Reviewed on the PC. Crap, I went too far forward….SMASH!

Rating: 6/10