Tag Archives: Guild Wars

Skeptical Plays – Guild Wars 2 [PC]

For the past month or so I have spent most of my free time lost within Tyria, the world of Guild Wars 2.

Having played the game non-stop, almost to the point of obsession – I can say with confidence that it is perhaps one of the most polished MMOs on the market today.  However, I am sad to report that as much as I am enjoying the game, Guild Wars 2 has somehow managed to disappoint me in oh-so-many ways.

In the original Guild Wars, developer ArenaNet had chosen to ignore all of the traditional MMO conventions, and as a result created a game that was unlike any other on the market.  It was fresh, it was bold, and it was different, utilitising a mass of concept and novel ideas that were unheard of at the time. Its multi-layered single server for example – or howabout the non-stats and non-level focus of the game?  Not to mention the respec-focused design of the skill system; the multi-class customisable skillsets; the skill hunting/capturing system; the unlocking of upgrades from PvE-to-PvP; the customisable companions and henchmen… et cetera.

There were so many unique things in Guild Wars, and so much of that game were done just right – but, unfortunately there lies the source of my problem with Guild Wars 2.

The original game showed that it was possible to create a non-traditional MMO in this day and age and do well with it. Many players appreciated the non-cookie-cutter design of the game, and the unique experience that it offered.  With Guild Wars 2 however, I find it both strange and frustrating, that ArenaNet had abandoned most of which that had made them unique in the first place.

This time round they have instead opted to offer us a title that is strictly cookie-cutter in many ways.  Employing a more streamlined traditional MMO engine, while adopting features and design methodologies that were lifted straight from other games in the genre.  Features like for example skills that change based on the type of weapon equipped; dynamic public quests that pops up in selected points of the maps; the inclusion of daily quests; a more rigid class system with more limited skillsets; as well as the traditional levels-based skill points unlock system.

Overall in my opinion the game is a perhaps a step back for the franchise   It is by no means a bad game – quite the contrary in fact.  Like I mentioned the game is very polished, and there are some nice touches like the autobalancing of levels and stats when you go into a lower level area, and an achievement system that combines and records your activities across all of your characters.  But whereas the first title had, in some ways, help revolutionise the genre, every aspect of this follow up is strictly evolutionary, and does not bring anything new to the table.  I have to say also that I find the lore and the characters to be much stronger in the original game, and I was much more immersed in the original world.

Lastly, to end this post on a sad note, I would like to say also that having encountered way too many immature idiots on one server, and now finding my new server dominated by multi-boxing bots and farmers, my experience is entirely ruined, and I am at a stage where I am just about ready to abandon the game.


Top 10 Collector’s Editions from Mighty Ape

Regrets – my life is filled with them.  Not over paths not taken mind you, nor over words said (or not said) in fits of passion, nor, over girls I have failed to kiss (though there are many that falls under that category).  Rather, I often regret NOT picking up that newly released game at the shops; that limited release version with the shiny big box; that coveted, elusive, awe-inspiring, Collector’s Edition.

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight a number of special Collector’s Editions, which are all currently available (at the time of this post) at Mighty Ape, one of my favoriate online stores.  I just want to say that I am in no way associated with the folks at Mighty Ape.  Having enjoyed their excellent customer service for years however, I thought I would give them a shoutout, and take down two birds with one stone today by linking my list back to products from their website.

And now, without further ado, here are 10 Collector’s Editions that are currently available from Mighty Ape:

10) Guild Wars: Nightfall – Collector’s Edition (PC)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PC-Games/Guild-Wars-Nightfall-Collectors-Edition/1526526/

Guild Wars, in my opinion, is one of the most under-appreciated game out there, featuring many innovative features and gameplay mechanics that I have yet see implemented in any other game.  This Collector’s Edition comes with all sorts of goodies – poster, map, art book, soundtrack, exclusive ingame dances, and much more – all packaged up in an attractive box.

9) Alone In The Dark: Limited Edition (PC)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PC-Games/Alone-in-the-Dark-Limited-Edition/1556243/

This is the 2008 sequel that goes by the same name as the original game in the series.  While the game did not do well with the critics, I actually quite enjoyed the game, despite its flaws.   This Limited Edition comes with a Carnby Collectible Figurine, a Making of DVD, soundtrack, and art book, as well as an attractive collectible box.

8) Star Trek Online Collector’s Edition (PC)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PC-Games/Star-Trek-Online-Collectors-Edition/3968130/

Star Trek Online is yet another under-appreciated game that I thoroughly enjoy.  With weekly content updates and regular major gameplay additions, plus stories and characters that were pulled straight from the TV series and movies – this is a game that I highly recommend to all Star Trek or sci-fi fans.  This Collector’s Edition comes in a super attractive deluxe packaging that features futuristic 3dX holography set in a high quality brushed aluminum finish.  The package includes an artbook, guest passes for your friends, special ingame items (including TNG and DS9 uniforms for your ingame characters), and lastly, a freakin’ Communicator Badge: High quality cast metal design based on the in-game badge model. Fully 3d Sculpted with recessed burst and curved contours!

 

7) Final Fantasy XIV: Limited Collector’s Edition

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PC-Games/Final-Fantasy-XIV-Collectors-Edition/7420730/

Final Fantasy XIV is the second MMO to wear the Final Fantasy name.   While the critics are divided on the game in its current state, you have to keep in mind that it is early days for the game still.   Many of the issues have been addressed with patches already, and major patches are due to come in the next few weeks.   I myself is enjoying the game the way it is, and I look forward to seeing what Square-Enix will bring in the future.   This is one attractive Collector’s Edition, featuring one of the most beautiful journal/artbook I have ever seen.   Other bonuses includes an a collectible tumbler, a behind the scenes bonus DVD, a FFXIV branded security token, a cloth map, and an exclusive ingame item.

6) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Night Vision Goggles Edition (PS3)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PS3/Call-of-Duty-Modern-Warfare-2-Night-Vision-Goggles-Edition-NVG/8818085/

Even if you are like me, and have yet to play this game, I am sure that you all know what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is, so let me jump straight to the contents.  Not surprisingly this Night Vision Goggles Edition includes the game, and a set of fully-functional, wearable, adjustable Night Vision Goggles, complete with a limited edition stand.   Night. Vision. Goggles. ’nuff said?

5) Call of Duty: Black Ops – Prestige Edition (PS3)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PS3/Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-Prestige-Edition/8169772/

Chances are you already know what Call of Duty: Black Ops is, so once again I am jumping straight to the contents.   This special Prestige Edition contains the full game in a special-edition steelbook case, 4 additional co-op maps, special avatar outfit for your PlayStation Home character, a collector’s medal with display case, and, a high quality FULLY FUNCTIONAL remote control RC-XD surveillance vehicle.  The RC-XD has the ability to transmit video and audio wirelessly straight to a 2” backlit TFT colour screen, built into the RC controller.  Do you need one?  Probably not.  But do you want one?   Hell yeah!

4) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Collector’s Edition (PC)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PC-Games/The-Witcher-2-Assassins-of-Kings-Collectors-Edition/9196853/

The Witcher 2 is the second installment in the Witcher saga based on Andrzej Sapkowskiin’s epic fantasy novel series.  This sequel promises to deliver a thoroughly engrossing, mature storyline, as well as an original, brutal combat system that uniquely combines tactical elements with dynamic action and a new, modern game engine.  Even if you were not a fan of the first game, or even if the sequel fails to deliver, you will at least be able to enjoy all the extra bonuses which comes with this Collector’s Edition.  With a making of DVD, soundtrack, world map, art book, replica coins, dice set, stickers, playing cards, ingame item, and last but not least, a sculpture of our hero, Geralt of Rivia.

3) Crysis 2: Nano Edition (PS3)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PS3/Crysis-2-Nano-Edition/9067573/

Like the Far Cry games before it, the first Crysis set the world (and many graphics cards) on fire when it was released back in 2007.  Crysis 2 looks to carry on the tradition, and will attempt once again to redefine visual benchmark standards on both console and PC platforms, as well as promising to wow modern day gamers with its top tier AI and an intense dynamic online combat.  What impressed me the most about this upcoming game however, is the contents of this amazing special Nano Edition.  It comes with a special NANOSUIT backpack, a premium 176 page art book, a special steelbook packaging, ingame bonuses, and lastly, an impressing looking 8” statue with internal lighting effects.

2) Killzone 3 Helghast Edition (PS3)

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/PS3/Killzone-3-Helghast-Edition/9497230/

I have been a huge fan of the Killzone franchise since the original PS2 title, so this limited special Helghast Edition of Killzone 3 is a no brainer for this list.   The Helghast Edition includes a 100-page hardbound art book, an exclusive DC Unlimited Helghast scout figurine, a special steelbook case, with codes for ingame unlocks and maps, exclusive dynamic themes, soundtrack, and most of all – it all comes in a highly collectible hand-decorated Helghast soldier’s helmet!  (Let it be known now by the way, that if I were to die, I wish to be buried wearing that helmet.   Creepy helmets for the win!)

1) LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Holder

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/LittleBigPlanet-Sack-Boy-Holder/8742541/

And finally number 1 on my list, is this amazing LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Holder.  Okay, so this is not actually a Collector’s Edition.  But it’s a collectible Sackboy Holder!  Just look at Sackboys happy little face!  Could you say no to Sackboy?!  Of course not, it’s Sackboy!

Also check out:

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/LittleBigPlanet-6-Articulated-Figure-Sackboy-Happy/8742538/

You might think I am obsessed with Sackboy – but I say, if you are human and NOT dead on the inside, then you would understand.  It’s Sackboy – ’nuff said.

And there it was, 10 amazing Collector’s Editions, that are all currently available (while stocks last) from my favorite shopping site.  Hope you enjoy the list and got some shopping ideas from that for christmas.

Now before I go let me leave you with a little question – are YOU a fan of Collector’s Editions?  What are some of your favorites, from past to present?  Feel free to drop me a comment and let us know!


Guild Wars 2 – Discover Your Legacy

Discover Your Legacy in the Hall of Monuments

The original Guild Wars was probably the first major online game I have ever played, and to this day it still holds a special place in my heart.  Its amazingly lush graphics, the lore, the writing, the characters, the unique gameplay mechanics, its quest designs…  Back then I thought it was close to perfection, and even today I consider it to be one of the best games on the market still.

I must confess I have not been playing this on a regular basis this past year or so, but, having beaten the original Prophecies campaign with multiple characters, and an owner of all three campaigns, the Eye of The North expansion, AND the recent Ghosts of Ascalon novel (by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck), I am proud to call myself a fan of the franchise.

Like many fans of original I am very much looking forward to the upcoming sequel.  But unlike most fans I want to go into the new game with a fresh pair of eyes, and have been actively avoiding the myriad snippets of news and info that are floating around out there on the net.  However, when I came across this little link I was unable to help myself.  The link in question was http://hom.guildwars2.com/#page=welcome, a link to the newly released Rewards Calculator for the Hall of Monuments.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Hall of Monuments, it is a game place location and feature that was introduced in Eye of The North, the Guild Wars expansion.  This Hall is an in-game location which serves as a visual trophy display case of sorts, and acts as a link between the original Guild Wars and its upcoming sequel.  As you earn and complete various goals and achievements in-game, like for example completing a chapter of the game; earning your prestige armor sets; or maxing out rep with a particular faction, you unlock the option to display these as physical statues within your hall.  The idea was that when Guild Wars 2 is released, Guild Wars players would be able to carry some of their achievements over to the new game, though it was not clear how this system would work, or what exactly would be carried over…  until now.

Guild Wars fans, if you have not already, do yourself a favor, and go check out that link.  It is nice to note too that it appears to be a live-sync of sorts to your characters, so any new achievements you earn after exporting your Hall of Monuments data would be updated and carried over.  This means that even after Guild Wars 2 have been released, players will still be encouraged to go back to the original game to unlock bonuses for the sequel.  Just another forward thinking feature that makes me love this franchise so much.  I heartily approve, I really do.


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