Search
Buy and Download Homm3: Complete Ed. from GOG!

Share your awesome game bargain story - best story wins a GoG.com game worth $5,99.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Used games, collectibles, great deals, reselling..
All that is theme of today. Have you recently bargained for a valuable game(s) you always wanted to own, or did you buy a nice lot of for example Nintendo Nes games for cheap and sold them for great profit? Did you find Super Mario RPG for a half price of it's value?

Share your free-of-form success story about finding your beloved games to any gaming console or computer with a great bargain deal. Tell us details about your deal: which games you found, where you found them and how much you paid for the game(s) plus what was the reselling price in case you decided to go for the money instead of collecting.

Share us how cunning games tradesman (or a woman) or a collector you were. Best game bargain story wins a digital download of PC game from Good Old Games free of his choice limited to maximum value of $5,99 of cost gifted by me!

This small competition ends at 23.59 GMT this sunday night 29th of July.

Hopefully we get to hear some cool stories shared among readers! :)



Buying and reselling games on Ebay - easy money or not?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The times when internet has evolved into the stage where people can easily buy and sell items overseas in real-time auction houses and pay them easily many may have noticed that if you have basic knowledge of some segment of items and can do basic calculations it's easy to make little profit reselling items in internet and that's what we are wondering about here today at thegamersdungeon.com. You don't have to be genius to do so. As I'm a gamer who has followed the markets for some time, though I'm not an expert in this issue, I'm about to try and bring up some instructions for other beginners in the game reselling.

Shaking your belief

Little reality check first. Games sells with very low amount of money compared to cars, estates, even furniture. This means you are making very shallow amount of profit per sale (unless you bought at overprice where you take some loss). This means you need to sell tons of stuff every month to gather up nice amount of money. If you really want to make more than hundred dollars a month there are few issues:


  • You need starting budget to buy basic game inventory (of course if you want just to make few bucks at first you can just buy a few games but even for a decent smoothly running sales you'd need hundreds of dollars and that's small business that won't grant you enough profits to make a living out of it)
  • You need to buy loads of games. Lets say that you're good at finding items cheap and know that they sell for much more for example:
    • You buy a game for $15 and then sell it for $30. Sounds like great bargain But you have to remember that:
      • You're most likely paying from $2 to $6 postage at buying stage depending of the item size ("big box" pc games are for example expensive to post) and whether it's delivery within your country or to overseas. 
      • And in addition when selling item in Ebay - PayPal takes roughly 3% +$0,30 of the sale to their pockets which in this case would be about $1,20. This can shrink your $15 profit of the resale to $10 or so. Not that much profit per game sold. Now think if you bought the game with $15 and only managed to sell with $20 you could be break even.
  • As you need to buy loads of games, you also need to find loads of good priced used games to buy! This is time consuming and you may not even find that many great deals a day because market is not big enough and there's competition when the others also recognize your "good deal". Avoid bidding wars and be reasonable what is good maximum amount to pay.
  • All in all you need to have time to find loads of profitable game deals, hope that there's enough of items in sale, have money to buy them, and then have time to auction and ship loads of sold games that may profit you $5-10 per game averagely whereas occasionally you may find a great deal and get much more.
  • Don't expect every item to sell right away and avoid games that makes you doubt that they are desired by the buyers, which may leave them hanging and dusting to your inventory for a long time.

So lets say that you want to make decent $500 extra income per month:

Now simple math. Lets say that you'd make averagely $5 profit per game (cursed PayPal and postage cuts your profits). You want to make nice $500 per month which is really nice extra income and doesn't sound like there would be much work needed to it.  X * 5 = 500 which equals to 500 / 5 = X. So X = 100. That's the amount of deals you would have to find per month, amount of games to buy and then set auctions up and hope that they all sell in this month - all that to make just $500 per month. I don't want to sound like dream breaker but making even decent extra income to your life per month is not easy task. And in addition you need to know what to buy and sell so that you actually make profit. If you scored $10 profit per game, you'r still need to buy and sell 50 games a month to make $500 a month. If we combine both profit examples and say that you make between $5-10 dollars profit a game then you'd sell somewhere between 13 and 25 games a week for a $500 a month! But enough nagging.

Allright so you've probably done your reality check and think that "$5-10 profit a game buying and selling in Ebay.. I know the markets well enough, I can do it" or even "I can do better than this per game". What types of games are roughly those that you should buy and assume that they will sell? Based on my own perceptions on Ebay, Amazon and local online auctions the best games you can go for are: Snes and Nes games. There are plenty of those games which have decent value. Remember to check area codes of items you buy and which language the game is. Usa standard Ntsc format does not play in non-modified German (Pal-B) Nes and other way around. Nobody who can't talk german does not want to buy Shadowgate in german language when the game relies on text heavily. This applies to every gaming system.

Which game console owns most profitable games?

Snes and Nes has lots of appeal because they are considered one of the most classic gaming systems that many people still have in their homes or have recently bought them back. They are good consoles because people still respect them and play them once in a while - and what's most important- like to collect those old Nintendo games. It's my believing that these days Snes for example is much more common console to be owned than Mega Drive / Genesis and there's more collectors also around. Therefore markets for Snes are bigger and there are more decently valuable games available for both Snes and Nes compared to Sega Mega Drive and Sega Master System. Lets remember that it's collectors in the end who determine market prices. The more the demand, the easier job to make lots of sales.

This doesn't mean that you should ignore other consoles all together although you may want to focus on certain small area (like Nes games) alone at first if you're first timer. There's still bunch of valuable games for old Sega consoles as well. One thing that attracts people with the old gaming consoles and their games is the different long lasting media type that are not manufactured anymore. Old gaming carts feel like collectibles and unlike old Ms-Dos PC games which are tough to get to work sometimes even with older PC - the console games work right away when you set the game on.

In addition with Nintendo's Snes, Nes, and Sega's Mega Drive and Master System you may want to keep on eye to some Playstation 1 game cd's. Especially role-playing games seem to sell well on PS1. Their value has raised recently quite a bit. I would probably leave Nintendo 64 games out for now as there's only very few games which you can really make profit with if you're lucky to find them underpriced that is.

With all gaming systems mentioned this far have one thing in common. Their game packages and actual carts / cd's don't take much space which means they are light weight and fit into smaller package, which means.. you guessed it.. smaller postage costs. This bring me to the point why computer games (PC) are more tricky and may not offer as good chances to sell profitably.

Avoid reselling computer (PC) games

First of all for some reason rare people do seriously "collect" computer games. Maybe it's the game format be it floppy disk or CD but this doesn't explain why early PS1 games sell well.. well some of them. But nevertheless it means that even if you know what "should" be the value of certain computer game, it may just hang on there long in sale without anyone buying it since there is not many who desire it with the right price. Lack of collectors plague computer game reselling which also means that rare of them really grow any real value among collectors. There's no many computer games out there that are safe to buy and resell with profit.

Secondly computer games were originally released in "big boxes" or cardboard boxes and later on in early 2000's or so they started to press them in smaller cd cases. For some reason while smaller case releases pay less postage, their price is nowhere near big box releases. In fact it has much to do with the fact that among computer games the only ones holding real value are those rare old games (I'd say from late nineties and before that) that are good, and have formed bit of a cult following and small case releases weren't made back them. Small cases are re-releases. If you're bargaining for a computer game be sure to get original big box release of the game (and calculate strictly that postage doesn't eat all your profit) since they are the ones that might hold value. Problem with them is that they have high postage costs for taking much space and it's bad thing in your profit-making venture.

Third thing is bad compatibility issues that plague also old PC releases. It takes time and patience to set up old Ms-Dos game to run on modern gaming system through DosBox (Ms-Dos emulator). All games don't even work so you never know. You might get the game to work instantly with old pc but then again it may not work directly either. That may lesser demand for PC games in the market. Now that websites like Good Old Games even sell digital downloads for old games which came DosBox pre-customized on them so they work instantly, buying old PC games as physical release makes just bit less sense than before. Some do collect them but numbers are not many.

Consider your options, Ebay is not the only one!

Indeed. Ebay is an easy place to buy and sell overseas but remember that PayPal takes it's share of every transaction and buying overseas always brings higher bill on postage cost. Those two issues combined might take big share of your profits. Since buyer is always the one these days paying postage you may want to consider buying from a local online auction house or a flea market (which may well be best place for your discoveries!).

On the other hand you may want to sell somewhere else than Ebay to avoid PayPal cutting their (small) share. Direct transaction from bank to bank account within the same country doesn't cost anything at least in here Finland. And not every auction house take any profit themselves. In best case you get to keep every penny of that amount you sell the game with.

If you live in somewhere else than for example large countries like United Kingdom, United States or Germany where Ebay is a big thing, compare Ebay prices to your local auction houses selling prices. I for example have noticed that old Nintendo games do sell quite a bit lower price in Ebay than what people pay for them in local online auction house. The difference is even bigger than the extra postage amount I would have to pay to bid on overseas at Ebay compared locally. So it's more profitable to buy from Ebay and then sell on local auction house than sell on Ebay (but smaller markets mean longer time to find buyer on the flipside of the coin). Consider your options!

Don't buy one (unless item is moderately valuable) at a time but many

If we forget Ebay for a while (sure you can do the same there but postage cost will be huge!), one of your best bets at least on the part of those not-so-rare games which you need to sell a ton is to bargain for so called game-lots. You will save money on postage if you find them a short trip away from your home door and meet the seller face-to-face instead of paying big postage cost on huge package at Ebay (it can still be profitable if the lot has few treasures among). Say for example that you find a lot with 40 games for $80. Even if they are quite cheap ones and you should sell them for $2 for each (+ gasoline cost which is not much per game if short distance) - you're pretty sure to make at least dollar or two profit on each game while good amount might still sell $5+ and few treasures if included - much more. Seek for a cheap game-lots with couple of rares!


Examples of games to keep on eye

Buying and selling is not so simple task after all. Going after the most rare and valuable titles may not be the best option since you're wasting loads of time finding the deal and end up with bidding war easily of rare title is going dirt cheap. So you also should keep on eye game titles that may not be rare and may not sell high price but are classics and great games. You know that their demand is high because they kick ass! Games like these will always sell and will be easier to come by. Say that instead of waiting that deal to buy rarity with $100 and selling with $160, you may as well buy several common quality games dirt cheap for $2 a piece and sell them for $5-6. Of course postage takes bigger cut on small transactions.

The next listings include some examples for a games to keep on eye. I'm not going to include the most insanely rare and valuable titles at all since the chances are you never come by them or if you do and are beginner with small budget then you're not going to have funds to buy them anyway. This list is nowhere near complete guide - it's just a part of easy examples you could start with. I'm trying to list ones that I assume would also have decent demand (cheap and valuable equally).

Nes:
Valuable games (which you have chance to come by)
-Myriad 6 in 1 (pirate)
-Caltron 6 in 1 (pirate)
-Action 52 (pirate)
-Maxi 15 (pirate)
-Little Samson
-Flintstones: Surprise at A Dinosaur Peak
-Bubble Bobble Part 2
-Dragon Warrior IV, III
-Bonk's Adventure
-Snow Brothers
-Mario's Time Machine
-TMNT: Tournament Fighters
-Power Blade 2
-Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers 2
-Contra Force
-Fire 'N Ice
-Mega Man (CIB)
-Duck Tales 2
-Adventures of Lolo 3
-Mighty Final Fight

Other quality titles to consider (buy dirt cheap, sell at moderate price easily)
-Super Mario titles (especially III)
-Mega Man titles
-Bubble Bobble
-Castlevania titles (especially I and III)
-Metroid
-Ufouria
-Ninja Gaiden (/Shadow Warriors in EU) titles
-Turtles II and III
-Contra (/Probotector)
-Battletoads titles
-Double Dragon I, II (be vary with III)
-Duck Tales
-Final Fantasy
-The Legend of Zelda (be vary with The Adventure of Link)
-Faxanadu
-Ghost 'n Goblins
-Dragon Warrior titles

Snes:
-Actraiser I, II
-Aero Fighters
-Battletoads In Battlemaniacs
-Breath of Fire titles
-Castlevania: Dracula X (very valuable!)
-Contra III (/Super Probotector): Alien Rebels
-Chrono Trigger (one of most valuable Snes games!)
-Donkey Kong Country I, II, III (will surely sell!)
-Dragon View
-Earthbound (one of the rarest and most valuable if not the most)
-E.V.O: Search for Eden
-Final Fight titles
-Final Fantasy III
-Harvest Moon
-Killer Instinct
-Kirby Super Star
-Lufia I, II (part two is valuable)
-Mega Man X titles
-Mega Man 7
-Mortal Kombat I, II, III
-Mystic Quest
-Ogre Battle (rare and expensive!)
-Secret of Evermore
-Secret of Mana
-Shadowrun
-Street Fighter II (and SFII: Turbo, SFII: Alpha)
-Soul Blazer
-Starwing / Starfox (cheap and should sell)
-Super Bomberman II
-Super Double Dragon
-Super Castlevania
-Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
-Super Mario Kart
-Super Mario RPG (expensive and rare!)
-Super Mario World
-Super Mario World II: Yoshi's Island
-Super Metroid
-Super R-Type titles
-Super Turrican 1, 2 (high demand, can get good price)
-Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
-TMNT: Tournament Fighters
-Zelda: A Link to The Past, Legend of

Sega Master System:
-Ghouls 'n Ghosts
-Golden Axe titles ("Warrior" is rare and valuable)
-Jamer Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing (rare and valuable)
-Master of Combat
-Ninja Gaiden (if you find very cheap)
-Power Strike I, II
-Sonic titles (not rare but will sell like regular Mario, aim to get CIB cheap if you do)

Sega Mega Drive / Genesis:
-Mega Man: The Wily Wars (compilation of first 3 Mega Man games! valuable with demand!!)
-Nightmare Circus (valuable and rare)
-Eliminate Down (valuable and rare)
-Master of Monsters
-Musha
-Panorama Cotton (valuable and rare)
-Phantasy Star I, II
-Shining Force I, II
-Snow Bros
-Splatterhouse I, II, III
-Streets of Rage titles
-World Championship Soccer 2

Playstation 1:
-Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena
-Final Fantasy titles (VI-IX)
-Mega Man Legends 2
-Ogre Battle
-Persona I, II
-Suikoden 1, 2
-Tactics Ogre
-Vandal Hearts I, II

Computer (pc):
Only few to mention if you manage to find good deal. Accept ONLY original  "big box" CIB releases!
-Afterlife (rare but demand is questionable)
-Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura
-Bard's Tale (original) I, II
-Dark Sun titles
-Diablo: Hellfire
-Duke Nukem 3D
-Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter
-Emperor: Battle for Dune
-Fallout I, II
-Final Fantasy VI, VII
-Elder Scrolls: Arena (valuable)
-Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (valuable)
-Grim Fandango
-Leisure Suit Larry Collections
-Heroes of Might & Magic I, II, III  (if dirt cheap)
-Id Anthology (valuable)
-Knights of Xentar
-Might & Magic games up to VIII  (if dirt cheap)
-Monkey Island titles
-Neverhood, The (valuable)
-Planescape Torment (if dirt cheap)
-System Shock (valuable)
-System Shock II
-Ultima titles
-Wing Commander III: The Kilrathi Saga
-Wizardry titles
***Generally any AD&D "Goldbox Game" as complete might be worth something but may be hard to sell..


General tips

  • I would avoid "sealed" games for resale purposes. Too high risk for a scam (not original seal but re-seal) and they cost a lot! Also market fluctuates so much that knowing the real price may be impossible.
  • Avoid buying special editions or imports just because you tought "regular edition doesn't sell much but.. but.. this is limited!". Some special editions are indeed worthy but before you're experienced buy games that you know to hold value for sure (regular edition) and which have high demand.
  • Buy only original releases. Especially on part of Pc games!
  • Buy Cib if possible (complete in box) with game, manual and box - especially with Pc games. Nes carts can still sell ok if you get them cheap.
  • Rare valuable games cheap can be tricky to find but can make big bucks
  • Common great games sell with less profit a piece but are easier to come by dirt cheap and the best titles always have demand no matter what!
  • If you're unsure about a game, skip it! Go for secure bargains.
  • Get a console of which system's games you're selling to test them out and confirm they work.
  • Buy role playing games. They usually hold value well since their emphasize is on timeless things like story which doesn't age.
  • Buy game-lots face to face and pick them up - or in special cases from Ebay if really good bargain that covers high postage cost from big item. 
  • Buy only moderately valuable games piece by piece.
  • Find out postage and tax rules when bidding and selling overseas! They may be very country specific.
  • Can you make a living with buying and reselling games on Ebay? No I doubt it. You'd have to be really a pro with lots of balance to spend, and long working hours per day are guaranteed to even make minimal income matching real profession. Can you make nice extra income out of it? Yes if learn to know your markets and play wisely.
  • This is just a post for beginners. There's plenty of more rare consoles with some valuable games but as a beginner you better start trying with the easier stuff than go for say Neo Geo, C64 or Turbografx which markets are moderately smaller than Nes and even Mega Drive. Thanks for reading!


-www.thegamersdungeon.com (all rights reserved)


Is 18 months production cycle enough for Wasteland 2?

Monday, 23 July 2012

While the new Wasteland 2 in-game screenshot of pre-alpha stage graphics has raised controversy, some praising it while others saying it looks too bland lacking personal look, this controversy has also raised a discussion can Wasteland 2 be made in 18 months? The game has been in development since April 2012 with a budget of $3 million and is set to be out at October 2013 unless delayed

Or one should rather think can Wasteland 2 be made in 18 months to achieve everything that is expected from it, or even what it was promised to be. Most of us would like at least graphically personal look to the game with it's artistic style - in which case Fargo and the team has some work to do to make things look bit more tempting than in the early screenshot. I think it's decently nice but lacks something. It's not rather the issue that Unity wouldn't be good as a game engine, but does it fit as rpg game engine? Can they make Wasteland to look unique and interesting with it within the next 18 months? One may also wonder why didn't InXile decide to use a game engine previously discovered to be well fit for a role-playing game.

Why did they decide to use 3D engine for a short period of development time while 2D engine would had surely been faster to work with. Was the reason mass-appeal? Perhaps it was but I would argue that you can make high resolution 2D to look equally beautiful than what average 3D engine can offer, if not better. Just take a look at this fan made Wasteland art using 2D. I'd enjoy something like this equally if not more than what the actual official screenshot has to offer:

(2d fan art of Wasteland 2)

(3d official screenshot of pre-alpha stage Wasteland 2)

It's common understanding that full scale role playing games would take at least three years to produce while Fargo's team is aiming for a one and half years with some previously thought up and perhaps even written plans and ideas for the game but no actual previous production. This means they are starting actual production pretty much from the scratch. It sounds suspiciously short amount of development period for a large scale party based role playing game set to revive the genre. Think about the amount of quests, story, dialogue, choices, items, stats and skills. A sandbox style rpg requires huge amount of work.

18 months production time may, but hopefully does not, indicate that the first version of the game could be either stumbling with gameplay issues and bugs, or be solid on gameplay part of it but being dumped down on the actual role playing and interaction part of it. Hardcore fans awaiting for a great old school role playing experience probably wouldn't mind if the original release date of Oct 2013 was delayed at the cost of making the game better and bigger. That's something one can read from popular rpg purists forums such as Rpg Codex.

Few examples of game development cycle lengths include (approx.):

  • Fallout 1 - 3 years 6 months
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - 2 years and 3 months
  • Bard's Tale (2004 "remake") - 2 years


Bard's Tale (2004) was Fargo's previously designed game that was average action rpg, yet it took two years to produce. Fallout (where Fargo was also involved) took over three years to be made and it is one of the largest open-ended role playing games released until today if we don't look at it only at the point of land-mass and game area, but from the view point of in-depth story, dialogue, amount of choices, and amount of interaction. Could a bit similar Wasteland 2 be finished with similarly large scope of game world than original Fallout using only 42% of the development time than Fallout did?

Fargo did say that Fallout took a long time to make with the tools they had back then to make it and that tools they have for Wasteland 2 would be much quicker to work with. Also one thing to remember is that when comparing to the most classic games out there Wasteland 2 is crowd funded and so developers have free hands to work with the project without publisher interfering things up. Only thing that it needs is a strong leader with clear goals and skills to manage his team well. Fargo may well be the man but 18 months still sounds quite scary if you expect the game to be vast like Fallout or Baldur's Gate.

It is good to end up with a quote from Tim Cain (game producer, lead programmer and designer for Interplay and Troika Games) about production time required for few games that can make us wonder:

"With that said, the Vampire (the Masquerade: Bloodlines) had been under development for three years. While that's not a long time for a role-playing game - Fallout had taken three and a half years to develop... The original schedule for Temple (Of Elemental Evil) was 18 months, which was and is unthinkable for a full-featured role-playing game."


..and you may remember what Temple Of Elemental Evil's huge problems were after the release. Even patched up it was very unfinished with loads of major bugs and gameplay issues plaguing otherwise quality game.. you could say the same about Daggerfall which development cycle was earlier mentioned to be 2 years and 3 months being released as totally bug ridden..

-www.thegamersdungeon.com (all rights reserved)



Do you want to guest-write a game article to this page?

We are looking to make this page perhaps more of a "community" so that people can participate on it. If you enjoy games and want to write an article for others to be read it's now possible. The article can be of any game console from Nes and Megadrive to modern PC and Xbox 360 and you get to include one Amazon, Ebay or GoG affiliate link of your own within the article plus your website's address (if appropriate). Anything else goes, but we don't accept Facebook or flash-game articles. Big no to browser based "social games".

General rules:

  • You are at least 16 of age.
  • Article is not used anywhere else online previously before submission, but you can of course use it on your own page later on. We don't want articles that are spammed on every site already.
  • Since this is not professional website your text does not have to be perfectly written but it should be decent nevertheless and please pre-check for spelling errors!
  • The article must be written by you (you own the rights to it)
  • Do not steal anyone else's article and post it here as your own.
  • Every article will be reviewed and checked before it's accepted. We'll hold rights to deny any article if we didn't feel that it was good enough or did not fit the page
  • You are not developer or promoter of the game you are reviewing.
  • For a full game review: aim somewhere at least 2000 letters.
  • For a free-of-a-form article: news, own thoughts, misc articles provide minimum of 1000 letters.
  • No commercial links allowed within the text within following exception:
    • 1) you can include one Amazon, GoG or Ebay affiliate link of your own in the text related to the article (for other types affiliate links please ask).
    • 2) you can include one link to your very own website in the end of the article along your alias if it's suitable for younger readers. We hold rights to leave your link off if it points into any unsuitable website for the context.


In addition please give us:

  • Your alias which will be used at the end of the post
  • Your full name (this will not be published or used anywhere unless you want) - it's to prove who in person wrote the article submitted.
  • Your website link to be included in the end of the post.
  • Your affiliate link to the Amazon, Ebay or GoG product to be included within the article (if you didn't already code it in). For other affiliate sites please ask.


Please follow these guidelines to spare our time (and yours!) and post any article under review for dungeoncall@gmail.com. We will get back to you when we've done reviewing it. If your review is denied don't get upset, use it somewhere else or make it better and try again!

Thanks,
thegamersdungeon team


InXile Entertainment reveals first early in-game screenshot of Wasteland 2

Crowd funded Wasteland 2's development for PC systems is already on it's way. Brian Fargo and the team started right up when the actual game budget was funded on Kickstarter.com. While the release may be over a full year away, they have something new to reveal that may interest us who await this game to be savior of the true party based role-playing games. Fargo and the team have given out a new "early process" screenshot of the game which uses "Unity"-engine! See it below:


Brian Fargo wants to add that they have not put particle effects or post-processing in yet which are thus not shown in the screenshot above. He claims that they will have dramatic effect on the scene. Camera angle can also be switched to top-down view for those who prefer it that way.

Fargo and the team have gone through watching different medias to get inspiration and influence for the game scenery including similarly natured games, documentaries and CG short films which has given them several ideas. InXile's environmental artist Koy Vanoteghem states that there will be several different terrains and areas while staying true to the wasteland theme: at least different deserts and icy mountaintops of Arizona, as well as coastal LA (and much more...). They will all have their own feel and look.

Personally I do like how the game's graphics and artistic style looks so far. It reminds me a bit from the original Fallout 3 (before the FPS) which was in development but was cancelled on it's way. Only thing that troubles me is that perhaps it lacks final personalized finesse and is slightly bland. But it's a decently good start nevertheless keeping in mind that this screenshot is of a version that is something like pre-Alpha stage. One thing that I wish is that the Wasteland will be very vast and large, and that they make distances be big rather than every place of interest being too close to each other, which would break immersion of the big deserts which have quite limited amount of life. One should also need to travel large distances and explore abandoned wastes to be able to discover places.

On the other hand game engine like this also scares me because it brings Jagged Alliance Back In Action (not the same engine though thank god!) to my mind a bit and I hope that InXile can overcome camera angle problems and such - although one probably shouldn't even mention JA: Back In Action and Wasteland 2 in the same sentence. The color palette seems nicely vibrant but still having desert-feel on it. What's your feeling about the screenshot?


Mechwarrior comes again - this time as multiplayer game (PC)

Sunday, 22 July 2012



Mechwarrior franchise's video game history goes back as far as 1989 when the first Mechwarrior game was released for PC (Ms-Dos), Snes and Sharp X68000 developed by Dynamix. However the sequel Mechwarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (and :Mercenaries) is perhaps the most known title of the series so far developed by Activision and having great soundtrack mainly composed by Jeehun Hwang.

Now Mechwarrior is returning later this summer, after a break of a full decade, with title "Mechwarrior Online" for PC, taking place at the end of the Third Succession War like the first Mechwarrior. Mechwarrior Online uses CryENGINE 3 as it's game-engine, which is used by games such as Crysis 2,3 and Sniper 2: Ghost Warrior. That means that the visuals are quite impressive. The game has already gone through beta-stage this summer and forgive me if I'm wrong but my assumption is that it will be open for public within a month or two.

The game is free-to-play-online fps / simulation and while this may sound like a bad idea for some, the game seems to be made quite faithful to the previous Mechwarrior titles. The game has been at pen-and-paper development stage since 2008 and was officially announced to be in produced at 2009. The developer is Piranha Games led by long time fan of the series Russ Bullock. Bullock who contacted Jordan Weissman (owner of the Mechwarrior franchises rights) about possibility to make the game. While game is free to play, some premium accounts with extra mechs and such seems to cost money.

(Cockpit view with a familiar "feel")


The game really seems to hone down to the originals. One should immediately feel at home when sitting comfortably in the oh so nostalgic cockpit view and hearing some heavy metal / rock influenced sound tracks as well as those reminding the more dramatic tracks of Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries. The mechs move like they should, little clumsily and marching heavily onward. Heat seeking missiles lock on the target and lasers cut off the arms or legs of the enemy mechs (if you're lucky) - just like in the classic games. If you fire too heavily, your systems will over-heat.

The developers say that they have put more emphasis on different roles of the different type of mechs like scout and fighter, or long range and close combat mechs, to make players take different roles to fill up team play. Piranha Games says that the emphasis is definitely on team play this time around. Gametypes confirmed are at least team deathmatch and base capturing.

(Mechlab customization with "hardpoint"-system)


The game should have wide selection of mechs (of which old fans will recognize immediately), of which each have their own variant. So how about customization? Do not worry. Mechwarrior Online uses "hardpoint-system" where you can take out and replace any weapon at any spot of your mech with any weapon you like in "MechLab" where you can customize your mechs way you like. Which means you don't have to stick with pre-customized setups.

As for a free-to-play massive online fps / simulation this game looks fantastic and should please those who have waited a Mechwarrior title to come. It's probably one of the most awaited online shooters this year. If you ever played original Mechwarrior games - made your dream mech - and thought "damn would I love to kick some ass online with this" then now is your time!



Russ Bullock also states that the advantages of making free-to-play online game is that they can and will keep pushing the game development onward after the official release.



Skyrim's first DLC expansion "Dawnguard" out now! (Xbox360, Ps3)


This may be slightly late call but those unaware of this new DLC (Downloadable content) for Elder Scrolls Skyrim called "Dawnguard" has been out for Xbox 360 ever since June 26th, and should be out before end of this month for Playstation 3. It was released as Xbox exclusive, which is the reason for later PS3 release.

Dawnguard expands Skyrim's choices of gameplay beyond the original bringing possibility to play as a vampire (or a vampire lord) on board, which is very welcomed addition along the originally included werewolf form. In fact, you can also play Dawnguard story and choose not to become a vampire if you wish. You can choose to be between a vampire or a vampire hunter on a crusade against these unholy creatures. The choice is yours.

Dawnguard starts off at Fort Dawnguard which leads you to decide your side. Will you join up with vampire slayer Isran who is forming an army to hunt down the bloodfangs, or will you team up with Lord Harkon, an unholy abomination of a man who's about to suck out blood out of every living creature in Tamriel? You better choose wisely because you cannot switch sides later on.



Dawnguard offers anywhere between 10 to 20 hours of a fresh gameplay with new content, areas, quests, items (such as crossbows), and as the best part - a new storyline with 2 different branches to choose from and follow up. Yes you can be vampire lord with ability to cast new spells, drain life, summon gargoyles, and hover over the ground while moving fast. Dawnguard will also present new vampire perks and improve perk tree for werewolf. If this all sounds tempting then you better go for it, the DLC pack costs 1600 Microsoft points which is approximately $20. It's not too bad for 10 to 20 hours of a gameplay.

Vampire form doesn't come without a trouble though. As it stands for now you cannot look at the game's map, interact with dead bodies to pick up loot or talk to NPC's while you're at vampire form which may be bad gameplay design on part of Bethesda.

Still as it is Dawnguard should be decently good bargain as a downloadable content pack for twenty dollars offering quite a bit new things and good amount of extra gameplay. At least it's worthy addition for any Skyrim fan and not a rip-off, in which case we can give Bethesda some credit - decent job lads!