Sierra Logo

Sierra re-activation: The games I want

On August 7, 2014 (2014-08-07) The Sierra website was re-activated. They had a new logo and a video saying “More to be revealed at Gamescom 2014.” This news excited many people. Twitter was awash with tweets. Gamescom 2014 came and it was announced that Sierra would be focusing on publishing indie titles, re-imagining beloved Sierra classics as well as helping to develop new unique IP.

The first two games that the newly re-activated Sierra will be publishing are Geometry Wars³: Dimensions and Kings Quest.

Geometry Wars 2014Geometry Wars³: Dimensions™ is an exciting new evolution of the iconic, fast-paced and frenetic Geometry Wars gameplay fans love, and will introduce full 3D action and competitive online multiplayer for the first time in the franchise. Geometry Wars³: Dimensions™ is planned to be the first game set to launch under the new Sierra indie label.

 

 

 

 

King Graham — reveredKings Quest 2015 as the greatest adventurer to ever live — shares his life’s adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather.

 

 

 

 

Confession: I have never played any Geometry Wars or Kings Quest game, ever.

 

What I have played plenty of is the Impressions City building series. I would dearly love for that series to be revived. My first thought was that a Caesar V would be awesome, having played a lot of Caesar III and Caesar IV. On further deliberation I decided that a different game from that series could do with some modern love treatment. The game that I think would be great to have a second iteration of is Pharaoh. Think about it, Pharaoh 2 would be great.

Computers these days have greater processing power, multiple cores to handle different tasks. With all that power I would expect an even better simulation that what Pharaoh originally provided.

The perfect studio for this would be Tilted Mill. They were working on Medieval Mayor, which was put on hold. Could the reason that Medieval Mayor was put on hold be that Tilted Mill was approached by Sierra to develop a city building game from the old impressions games city building catalogue?

But even if Sierra did get a new indie studio to work on a city builder. There are a few promising city builders under development by indie studios, for example Clockwork Empires. I think the time is right for the next set of great city builders. There have been a few attempts but I haven’t enjoyed them as much as the original impressions city building games.

Here is to hoping. After all the Sierra webpage does say, “Many more titles coming soon!”

Mashup of games with an unskippable intro

Unskippable intro movies for games

One of gamings deadly sins

I’m not sure why developers continue to make unskippable intros to games. It is repetitive, there are only so many times you can watch something before it annoys you enough to smash random keys on your keyboard. Seeing a companies logo smashed/flashed/etc… onto the screen does not enhance the game, plaster it on the menu screen if you need to emblazon your logo onto players minds – please just make it possible to skip the unskippable intro movie after players have seen it the first time they start the game. When I want to play a game, I want to play the game, not wait for things to play that I have no control of – it’s almost as bad as sound loading on a webpage when you didn’t expect it.

Why do I harp on this topic now?

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shadow warrior

Shadow Warrior an unexpected gem of a game

Slashing demons into little pieces

You will love shadow warrior, I’ve recently been playing Shadow Warrior, a 2013 reboot of a 1997 first person shooter by the same name. I had never played the original so I went into the reboot not expecting anything. I came out really enjoying the game. It has been one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in a long time. One of those games that you can lose yourself in. I rate the game as an unexpected gem. More people should definitely experience the game.

You play as Lo Wang. A modern ninja sent to retrieve the Nobitsura Kage, a sword that a corporate Billionaire wants. From there the story unfolds, you get dragged into a deeper story about a sword and what seems to be the weird love a few demon brothers have for their sister. I won’t post anything further to spoil the story.

What this game is also full of is Wang jokes, a wang of them (I had to.) Collect the fortune cookies to read a different wang joke every time. After all a wang in hand is worth two in the bush.

Shadow Warrior is a stunning title full of humour and fast paced action. One of the best FPS games of 2013 in my view. The game is a definite buy.

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Caesar IV Thessalonica

Republic Tier 2 Options

There are two options for the republic tier 2 cities. Thessalonica is the republic tier 2 Military option and Narbo is the republic tier 2 peaceful option. If you’ve played the one option you can of course go back and play all the scenarios that you didn’t play the first time.

Caesar IV Thessalonica

The objectives in Caesar IV are achievable without too much fuss. So I thought that instead of building sprawling cities like I usually do I would try finish this one with minimum of fuss. Continue reading

Caesar IV Mediolanum

Republic Tier 1 Options

There are two options for the republic tier 1 cities. Mediolanum is the republic tier 1 Military option and Syracusae is the republic tier 1 peaceful option. These are the first Caesar IV campaign scenarios that you play after finishing the Kingdom scenarios. These are also the first scenarios that you can chose to play either the peaceful or military scenarios of the campaign. You can of course go back and play all the scenarios that you didn’t play the first time.

Caesar IV Mediolanum

The objectives in Mediolanum are easy enough to meet. Although the way I play I always end up with far higher numbers, especially for population. Continue reading

Caesar IV Online Citybuilding multiplayer dead for good

I was recently asked in a private message on one of my Caesar IV youtube videos; “what is Caesar IV Online like?” This is a difficult question to answer because I never had Caesar IV when it was released. I didn’t have a computer powerful enough to run Caesar IV at the time.

To answer the question though, Caesar IV Online servers were taken offline after the merger between Activision and Blizzard. It was not only the Caesar IV online servers that were taken down, there were more Sierra online servers that faced the chop. This server takedown happened on the 1 November 2008.

The only way I can see a Caesar IV Online server coming back is if Activision Blizzard allow it or if they give the original developer permission for people to create their own servers. I can’t really see this happening, not even with a petition.

To see my video on Caesar IV Online and for a full list of servers that were shutdown see below the fold.

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Witcher 3 delayed – It will be done when it’s done

  
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt delayed

The Witcher 3 was expected to launch in 2014. CD Projekt Red have now announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released in February 2015. This was announced by CD Projekt Red in an open letter to gamers and their shareholders on their website.

Hearing about the Witcher 3 delay is sad on one hand, but hopefully we should have a better game at the end of the process. That is ultimately what everyone wants. The players want a great game and the creators what to publish something that they will be proud of. As displayed by this extract from the open letter:

We could have released the game towards the end of this year as we had initially planned. Yet we concluded that a few additional months will let us achieve the quality that will satisfy us, the quality gamers expect from us.

Sometimes a delay to a video game hasn’t really materialised in any distinction that the developer put any extra time into developing the game further. With CD Projeckt Red developing the game, I believe that they will do what they say they want to do -make the game better. They did after all release enhanced editions of both the first two witcher games for free as well as releasing DLC for the game and recently mod support. There are not many developers out there that do those sorts of things any more.

Banished – A city building game for survivalists

Banished is a city building game with a difference. For one thing it was developed by one person, quite an achievement. Another difference is that it is not quite about building a huge empire nor does banished have any skill trees. No. Banished is a game more about just plain surviving. The basic premise is that a group of people have been banished from civilisation and have retreated to nature to build their own settlement.

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Between a rock and a kayran tentacle – Witcher 2

All the glee and excitement of playing a game, like the Witcher 2, that is harder than most modern games is starting to wear off. Trying to defeat the kayran is driving me to die and die again. The worst of it is that I’m sure I know how to beat the kayran, I just haven’t managed to do it – yet.

witcher 2 kayran

After my last post about the Endrega Contract and beating the Endrega Queens, I’ve done a few side quests but so far I’ve been stonewalled by the Kayran. Which in turn means I haven’t played much.

The Kayran is a river monster blocking the port of the river town Flotsam. You are required to clear the Kayran monster so that the town of Flotsam can start trading again.

Fighting the Kayran

Once you get down to the river swampland area. Síle sets about summoning the Kayran to the shore for Geralt to fight. Once the Kayran appears out of the water one tentacle at a time the fight begins.

Avoiding the tentacles of the Kayran is a very prudent thing to do, considering that one smack of that tentacle can be enough to kill Geralt.

Meanwhile up on the cliffs, out of harms way, Síle shouts for you to trap it with the Yrden. The Yrden sign is basically a magical trap that immobilises enemies wherever it is placed. Once triggered the enemy is trapped for a certain amount of time.

The strategy of fighting the Kayran

With the knowledge that you can use the Yrden sign, dodging around out of the way of tentacles trying to smash you reveals that the tentacles have large joint like clumps. These clumps look rather magical and artificial. Thus the strategy of fighting the Kayran develops.

Drop a Yrden sign at the location where that tentacle joint will hit the ground. Once the tentacle joint hits the Yrden sign on the ground the tentacle will basically be glued to the ground. Use the opportunity to attack the tentacle joint until it is severed.

You need to repeat the above with 3 Kayran tentacles. There lies my problem. By the time I get to the last tentacle I have very little HP left and I end up dying.

I will continue trying to defeat the Kayran though.

The Endrega Contract – The Witcher 2

While on my Witcher 2 backlog playthough I had a delay trying to get past one of the side quests called the Endrega Contract. The problem was that I kept on dying and dying. I saw some suggestions of buying 10 traps and laying them all in the path of the Endrega Queen but I wanted to kill the queen without resorting to using traps. This is just a little description of what I did. I have also embedded a youtube video below the fold.

The Endrega Contract requires you to kill the 2 Endrega Queens in the forest around the town of flotsam.

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