Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring Weekend Deals


Eggstra Eggstra: Read all about our spring weekend deals

Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. At GMG, it’s also the season for some eggs-ellent deals! I’m going to stop with the puns right now though because we’ve got some seriously cracking deals to pick from over the weekend.

Here’s a quick run down of everything we’re doing...

Voucher Bunny Visits!

We’ve got 20% off hundreds of titles using our GMG20-FDSCL-AQQXD voucher* including some of the latest and greatest new titles such as Scribblenauts Unlimited.

If you’re more interested in investing in the future, we’ve also got a massive 25% off select pre-purchase titles. Just use voucher** code GMG25-S0FSG-R7Z9B at checkout on any of these titles :

Up to 50% off the entire Tomb Raider franchise all the way back to the original titles, including a massive 25% off hugely successful 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider.

We’re offering up to 75% off some of Codemasters biggest hits, including Dirt 3, and F1 2012, some of the best PC racing games ever made. You can see all of them on the site but some of the highlights are here:


Get 66% off Saints Row: The Third and its massive amounts of accompanying DLC, including the Season Pass right here.

Classic titles from Plugin Digital are 75% off over the weekend including WRC3 and the weird and wonderful Toilet Tycoon. Some of the available titles on offer include:


-James

* Valid until 1600 UTC April 8th
** Valid until 1700 UTC April 5th

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Shop Maintenance

UPDATE 0926 March 26th: Maintenance is now complete :)

Hi folks,

In order to perform some essential maintenance on our servers the GMG shop will be offline for a brief period from 0900 GMT March 26th.

Once the shop is back online we'll update this blog post.

-James

Friday, 22 March 2013

BioShock Infinite keys - important information


UPDATE 1420 GMT March 24th:

Hi everyone,

BioShock Infinite, XCOM/Free Games and Industrial Revolution Keys
The final keys are in the process of being sent out, meaning they should be with you shortly. Please remember to check your inbox for the email containing the keys, as before – please ensure that the GMG emails have not ended up in your spam folder!

Keys and Games pages
These pages have now been made available once again. Please remember your keys have been emailed to you, so check your emails if you are unable to access the keys page.

We really appreciate how patient you have been throughout the weekend and hope you enjoy BioShock Infinite.

-George



UPDATE 0104 GMT March 24th:

Hi everyone,

BioShock Infinite Keys
We are in the process of sending out more BioShock Infinite Keys. These will be going out over the next 24 hours, so please check your inbox over this time for the email - also please ensure that the GMG emails are not filtered into your spam folder.

XCOM and Industrial Revolution Keys
These keys are going out with your BioShock Infinite keys (provided you haven’t already received them), if you have failed to receive one or both of these keys please submit a support ticket here

We really appreciate your patience, and we will of course keep you updated with any further developments. We hope you enjoy BioShock Infinite when it launches on Tuesday

- George & Darren


---


UPDATE 1704 GMT March 23rd:

Hi everyone,

The site is currently down as many of you have spotted, following instability through the night.

Unfortunately, due to the sheer popularity of the BioShock Infinite offer we are experiencing technical issues. This has resulted in the site being temporarily unavailable.  Please rest assured that our tech team is working hard to address the issue so that we can resume our standard service. We appreciate this is not ideal as many of you are hoping to preload BioShock Infinite for launch, but please bear with us, we want you to be able preload BioShock Infinite just as much as you want to.

Where is my BioShock Infinite key?
We are working hard to get your keys out to you soon, and you will receive your key in time for release.

Why can’t I access my keys page?
With regards to the ‘keys’ and ‘games’ sections in the account page – please refer to the following blog post. We know this is an unusual measure to take but we hope you understand we are doing this to ensure we can get keys to you by the release of BioShock Infinite.

I prepurchased ages ago, why are others getting their keys before me?
We fully understand that this is seen as unfair by a number of users, and we are taking your feedback on board. While we can't immediately change this (as it would require substantial work), we are aware of the demand for it and thank those for providing us with that feedback. We wouldn't be here without you or the support we receive from you, so we do genuinely want your say on the site.

Why doesn’t the 20% voucher code work?
Since this morning, a new 20% voucher code has been created GMG20-FDSCL-AQQXD this voucher is valid until 4pm GMT 28/03/2013.

Again we sincerely apologise for the issues experienced this weekend. We are working hard to correct them across all of Green Man Gaming and hope to have them resolved soon.

-James & George


---

Hey everyone - we've got some important information about BioShock Infinite keys.

Our automated system is currently sending out BioShock Infinite keys - we were only able to start sending keys when the pre-load opened.  The game launches on Tuesday so we will have the keys with you in good time to pre-load and start playing.

Due to high sales on this title we have taken some steps to speed things up. Most notably we have taken down the Keys and Game History section of the Account temporarily.  Many people were hitting this area looking for their key since the pre-load was announced and this was severely impacting the actual sending of keys.  There is no need to access this section of your Account as you will receive an email with your key.  Sorry about this, but it will help.

Once keys have been despatched we will bring these sections back.

/Darren

Weekend Deals: Borderlands Abound

Hey folks,

We've got deals on everything to do with Borderlands 2 as well as a ton of SEGA deals this weekend! That's in addition to our very popular BioShock Infinite deals!

Make sure you don't forget about our 20% voucher. It's valid on hundreds of titles* across the GMG Store!


Borderlands 2 Deals are all available until 1700 GMT March 24th


You can see them here.


SEGA Deals are all available until 1700 GMT March 25th, and all 75% off!


There's too many to list, really! So check here for the rest.

Have a great weekend!

-James
GMG Trivia: One of our trading team, Al, is trying to put game names into song lyrics. So far he's got "We built SimCity on rock'n'roll" and "Fly me To The Moon" ... I never said they were good.

*Please note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles.

Playfire Vulcan Client Update

We’ve had a great response since launching the Playfire Vulcan client earlier this month, and we’ve already rolled out a patch since launch and made several fixes to the service on our end to fix some of the major issues people have been experiencing with tracking.

If you haven't downloaded Vulcan yet, you can grab it here. All future updates are being made through the client itself, so you'll only need to download it once.

It’s great to see Xbox user accounts flying through our update system and users receiving profiles that are totally up-to-date. While we’re continuing to work on bugs and UI features, our biggest task is getting Steam and PlayStation tracking live as soon as possible.

We’re currently testing a version of Vulcan that can track Steam titles, and we’re hoping to roll this out to everyone by the middle of next week - you’ll be able to update from directly within the client! PlayStation Network will be following very shortly after, most of the team have already been moved over to work on that.

We’ll also be updating our Terms & Conditions next week to accommodate the client, and update our community rules.

In the meantime, a quick reminder that you can find out information about using the client and help us log problems and errors using our support area. We’ve already identified several issues and are working to fix them thanks to you guys sending in reports!

- Wayward & The Playfire Team

Thursday, 21 March 2013

20% Code in March and April

Would you be interested in a 20% voucher? Naturally! The following code can be used on hundreds of digital PC titles until 1600 UTC April 8th*...

GMG20-FDSCL-AQQXD

(NOTE: voucher code has been updated)

Perhaps you'll explore a bizarre world in Grimind, or explore dozens of them in StarDrive!

-James
GMG Trivia: After the traffic fixes to SimCity a bunch of us were playing in a region we have. Poor George had Godzilla tear apart his university. Godzilla hates education, apparently!

*Please note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Your Top 10 Indie Games

We received more than 4,000 responses in our competition to win 10 indie games, where we sat back and had you guys tell us what the best indie games were. Don't worry, we're well aware it's an extremely difficult question and many of you did tell us that. There's just so many indie games out there and so many that would be worthy of mentions. However if we did that it wouldn't be a top ten!

There were over 300 different indie titles receiving votes for Best Indie Game, and about 4,000 submissions in total!

10. To The Moon
Despite the head to head on it against Chivalry, a bunch of us in the office adore this game. It doesn't need anything more said except it's the most emotionally engaging experience you will ever find in a game.
9. Hotline Miami
I'll be honest I've not played this one yet. I know, I know. Chastise me if you must. It received so many votes though that I'll certainly have to upgrade the priority in my pile of shame!

8. Terraria
"Has this big eye boss." -Rob

7. Limbo
Most people would get through it within a few hours, but the time it takes shouldn't deter anyone from it. Unless you're just really, really terrified of spiders.

6. Braid
Rob said this is a really good game, but he couldn't finish it because it made his brain "warm." I can see how, taking steps back in time isn't typical for a platformer but then that's what made Braid unique.

5. FTL - Faster Than Light
FTL is an incredible game. The roguelike made for every sci-fi fan, with an easy-to-learn curve on gameplay, but a sequence of levels that get increasingly harder mean actually completing it on the (so-called!) Normal difficulty will be a challenge requiring a lot of ingenuity and a fair helping of luck.
4. Super Meat Boy
There's no need to repeat ourselves. We had a post discussing the merits of Dustforce and Super Meat Boy!

3. Binding of Isaac
I've enjoyed Binding of Isaac, though I always felt a bit lost in terms of what items actually did. Maybe that was the point: to feel lost. Either way I just used everything I came across. The loose story, and introduction, behind it is an interesting hook into it, and something I've not personally seen much of in most games. I've not yet gotten to the end though.

2. Bastion
Kid saw his fame get him far up the list. He smiled.

1. Minecraft
Well, that was pretty obvious really, wasn't it?
I bet there's a ton of you guys who want to know who won the prizes already. Well here they are:

We've already contacted the winners, and they are (along with their votes):
Moty (Binding of Isaac), Kerim (Mark of the Ninja), Marivan (Braid), Frank (Dungeons of Dredmor), Ricardo (Bastion), Erik, (Binding of Isaac), Jacob (Super Meat Boy), Sakarias (Magicka), Mike (Hotline Miami) and Bence (Trine).

Congratulations to you all and thanks to everyone who entered. We hope to have another big giveaway soon!

-James
Not-quite-GMG Trivia: Did you see that Supergiant Games are working on their next title? It's called Transistor

BioShock Infinite, XCOM & You!


We can now happily announce that everyone who has pre-purchased BioShock Infinite from Green Man Gaming will also receive a free copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (One of the top five from the community voted GOTY).

We know loads of you are struggling to contain your excitement about BioShock and the bonuses, so we've answered the most frequent questions about BioShock's release here...

When do we receive our BioShock Infinite and XCOM keys?
BioShock Infinite keys will be sent out on the release date. We can't guarantee that you'll be able to preload.

XCOM Enemy Unknown will be sent out by the 26th March at the latest. If you see others receiving keys before you, do not worry. Everyone who is eligible will receive a copy.

I already own XCOM from GMG, will I still receive a free copy?
Yes, even if you have already purchased XCOM you will also receive a free copy with BioShock Infinite.

Will I be able to tell which game is which?
Yes, the XCOM keys will have this text in front of the Steam key, without the quotation marks, "XCOM:"  This should make it easier if you want to give it to a friend!

The key I have for BioShock Infinite isn't redeeming in Steam. Why not?
This is your Industrial Revolution bonus key, and is a browser-based bonus. For information on how to redeem this please see this page on our support site.

I've not pre-purchased BioShock Infinite yet. When is the latest I can order and still get all of the free games available on the Bundles page?
If you've really got to leave it to the last minute, the latest you should order is before the game unlocks in your region. After that point, the bundles will be removed and pre-purchase bonuses will be gone.

Pre-purchase it here to make sure you don't miss out!


If there are any other questions or concerns you have please see our support site.

-James
GMG Trivia: Today I have a smiley gingerbread man. He's currently wrapped in plastic but soon will be torn apart.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A whole new blog!


Both GMG and Playfire users may notice some changes to the blog today.

Rather than running two separate blogs, we’ve decided to combine both blogs onto the Playfire site. This brings a lot of advantages to Playfire, allowing us to have blogs that can easily use images and videos, add community authors, and filter and categorise different posts.

Blog posts will continue to be made by myself, but I would also like to introduce Playfire to the GMG community manager, James, who will posting on the GMG side of things! You’ll find him on the forums as Radaeron.

For Playfire users, this means GMG deals and information will be presented on this blog - however, we won’t be using the notification system for these posts or for community posts, so you won’t be spammed by the extra blog posts coming through.

It also means that, for now, you won’t be able to comment on the blog using your Playfire username, as the system isn’t quite as tied into the site. You can however comment with any Google account you may have.

For GMG users, the blog will continue as normal, albeit with an updated design!

We’ll still be sending out notifications for Playfire news, including the State of Playfire blog posts and Vulcan updates.

- Wayward,  Radaeron & The Playfire Team

Monday, 18 March 2013

Mitch Reviews: Tomb Raider



Does this reboot freshen up the series or are Lara’s days of treasure hunting finally over?

Story

Whilst it’s debatable as to whether or not previous Tomb Raider games had strong stories, I think everybody will agree that Lara’s latest outing is driven by a story worth knowing. You’re thrown straight into the thick of the action within minutes of booting the game up, experiencing an expedition gone wrong to find the elusive Japanese kingdom of Yamatai.

The thrill of excitement experienced within the first few minutes doesn’t wear off due to the well-paced story, character progression and unobtrusive set pieces. Being a reboot, we get to join Lara on her first adventure as we watch her become who we’re familiar with; the explorer we know her to be.

Characters are proven to be in-depth and as you collect journals and items, you learn more about other characters' histories as well as insights by Lara herself, giving her thoughts on the situation, the people she’s with and the emotional effect events have on her. Chances are, you’ll be thinking similar things to her due to how realistic the characters are and how easy it is to place yourself in their shoes.

Gameplay

One thing that stunned me in this game was the brutality and gore, the emphasis that Lara is only a young, untrained woman who’s vulnerable to the dangers of the outside world. With infamous QTEs making an appearance, you need to be quick to avoid instant death via strangulation and being crushed, impaled or murdered; the more sadistic of us may fail these entirely on purpose just to see what unfortunate ends Crystal Dynamics have cooked up for Lara. Luckily, the QTEs are unobtrusive but give you some control over the dynamically spectacular set pieces.

Gone are Lara’s trademark pistols, now replaced by an iconic bow and arrow. Whilst this is the most effective weapon in the game, you can also use a sole pistol, an assault rifle, a shotgun and a pickaxe for when you want to get down and dirty up-close.
These can be upgraded by finding materials in tombs and littered boxes which allow you to improve accuracy, strength, reload speed and various other things.
Platforming has had a major overhaul and thankfully, Lara can now jump smoothly like a normal person rather than the stiff and painful platforming segments we had to suffer during earlier Tomb Raider titles. Climbing feels smooth and efficient, with the new Rope Ascender tool allowing you to quickly soar to your desired destination or to escape enemy fire. It’s a shame that you’re unable to attack when climbing as I feel this could have mixed the gameplay up, but hopefully we’ll see a more aggressive Lara in a sequel.

Getting into cover is easy but you’ll find yourself sticking to things by accident as Lara sidles besides things when in close proximity rather than at the press of a button. You’re able to roll and slide into cover which is great during a firefight as Lara falls fairly quick if you try to be overly offensive, and it also allows you to evade molotovs which incapacitate you for a short period when it makes contact.

Graphics

Lara’s latest journey looks terrific and does its best to immerse you in the experience; the island theme is prominent and does a great job of making you feel stranded, alone and fragile.
The weather is dynamic and primarily features rain, which adds to the tension and mixes well with the darkness and blood that stains many locations. As someone who has been playing Tomb Raider since the first installment, I’m surprised to see how gritty and gory this one actually is but it’s definitely a positive as it allows us to care for Lara in a way that we never would have previously (you know, when she was a blow up doll with eyes glued on).
TressFX makes its first appearance in a game and makes its shining debut on the top of Lara’s head, giving her hair more the ability to portray itself realistically to hopefully become a multiplayer character or better yet, star in its own title in which it can grace our screens in all its glory. Hopefully we’ll see TressFX more in future now its proven itself. (James' note: TressFX totally sounds like a hair product.)

Audio

Voice-acting is top-notch, especially Camilla Luddington’s portrayal of Lara, and aids in relating to the characters and caring about what happens to them on the island as you can hear the stress and desperation as they discuss how to escape the cursed island.

Firearms sound awful and don’t pack a punch but, fortunately, the bow and arrow proves to be the best weapon available and comes with a satisfying ‘ping!’ sound. Explosions become background noise in the later parts of the game due to the immense amount of flammable barrels conveniently placed around the island.
The music itself is great but you won’t find yourself humming Tomb Raider tunes once you’ve finished the campaign, which is disappointing as a good soundtrack can change your outlook on a game and get your adrenaline pumping when played at the appropriate time.

Lasting Appeal

There’s a lot to see and do in the campaign including finding collectibles and journals and completing side-missions in the form of hidden tombs and when you feel that you’ve had your fill here, you can jump on the online multiplayer modes.

The multiplayer itself is lacking in comparison to the campaign with it being noticeably laggy and an awful matchmaking system where if someone leaves a game, you’ll have to be incredibly lucky to have that spot replaced without leaving the game and joining another. As is standard in most multiplayer titles, you are able to level up, unlock weapons, loadouts and perks and prestige once you hit a specific level.  It may require a few patches before I can fully recommend the multiplayer segment of Tomb Raider; it’s good fun but it feels tacked on. Thankfully, this doesn’t detract from the steller single-player campaign.

Tomb Raider is an excellent reboot which I fully recommend - if mostly due to the single player - and the addition of multiplayer is just the icing on the cupcake.

Mitchell is a freelance journalist and senior moderator at Playfire. You can find more of his work at http://mitchjay92.blogspot.co.uk/ or contact him at www.playfire.com/mitchjay1992. He's also got quite a few other reviews here.

Think Tomb Raider is your kind of game? Check it out on Green Man Gaming

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Rob v James: Super Meat Boy v Dustforce

With all the indies on offer this weekend at GMG, Rob and I decided to sit down and have a discussion over a few of the notable titles in the sale. Just in case there's anyone out there who is a long-way off their payday, or only needs a couple of games to tide them over!

Today we're talking about Super Meat Boy and Dustforce!


Rob: Super Meat Boy. It's the Mario of our generation. It's the Dark Souls of platform gaming. It's the Horse-In-Your-Burger of meat based entertainment. The only reason not to pick it up is that you already own it, but as it's so well known, why don't you give me an idea of what Dustforce is? Some sort of clean-em-up?

James: I'm not sure "horse-in-your-burger" is a good thing. It's certainly a good game, no one can dispute that, but following on from your reason not to pick it up is that you already own it. A lot of people own Super Meat Boy, but a lot of people might have missed Dustforce. It's almost opposite in it's theme. Meat Boy is getting splatted everywhere, making a big ole mess. Dustforce you're sweeping it all up, with acrobatic skills of a young Jackie Chan.  You run around the level, sweeping as you go, getting points for cleaning the mess, as well as defeating enemies in levels. So for example, there's a library level where you go around dusting it all up, and you can use your attack to combo from running up a wall, hitting a flying dust-possessed book to get some extra air, before continuing up in a move of pure grace (or as my own experience went: dropping down and doing a ton of wall jumps to get there). The attacks are what strongly differentiate Dustforce from Super meat Boy, you get basic attacks, light and heavy, and when your score is high enough you get a "kill ALL the things" attack which darts around the screen to clean-up on enemies. (Pun SO intended).

Rob: I'm not sure you can describe something as a young Jackie Chan unless it's actually Jackie Chan. Besides, I'm pretty sure Young Jackie Chan was a kids cartoon when I was younger, so that sounds like copyright infringement to me.

(Aside: That was actually Jackie Chan Adventures. And it was awesome.)

Rob: Different moves and all that are one thing, but my favourite thing about Meat Boy is that it mixes stuff up quite madly between the levels. One minute it's a fairly standard platformer (albiet one with amazingly sharp controls) and then next it's taking on themes and art styles from something you wouldn't expect. Variety in levels is way cooler than variety in character moves. Still, attacks? Sounds more like one of those punching games ive heard about than a pure platformer? Do you even bleed on ANYTHING?

James: You know I don't think you do, even when you land on spikes. Dustforce definitely does a kind of mix'n'match with certain aspects, which your blood-related question made me realise. It does have attacks, where a lot of platformers don't, and instead of having to restart the entire level when you die, you kind of phase back to the last available point.  Because instead of about completion of the level its about the skill and time in the completion. So the timer for each level, and grading, make a much bigger focus on the time-trial aspect.

Rob: Yeah, thats a nice way of doing it because it let's people like you join in, I guess and gives you access to the content more easily, but if you want more than a badge that says "I Took Part", you gotta go for Meat Boy. It's reputation for being difficult is well deserved, but it's got that awesome balance which means you can play it, die, scream at it, throw your controller and or keyboard across the room and then pick it up and try again all the in the same two minutes. Given that platformers are typically not all that hard, that's a refreshing change of pace.

James: Dustforce is actually incredibly difficult to play well, because of the coordination and timing of moves needed. If you don't beat a level to a certain standard, you won't be able to access other levels. Seeing my name come up in the timer leaderboards well outside of the top players is something I experienced frequently.  I think Meat Boy players would find it to be a similarly challenging experience, though obviously the core mechanics are different. Meat Boy is a very pure platformer, but then indie games are all about trying different things, making Dustforce a very appealing option.

Rob: It's an option! People should totally get it if they have already played Meat Boy, and I know a lot of people have. I picked it up a couple of Christmases ago and it took me about three weeks to build up enough skill and courage to get through the entire thing. If you have already got it, Dustforce sounds lovely, but if you haven't you've aboslutely got to pick up Meat Boy first. It's the benchmark by which we should measure any straight up platformer. It'd be like playing Team Fortress 2 but not Half Life 2, it'd make you WIERD.

James: I've gotta confess.. I'm just not very good at platformers, Rob. I love them but, man, do I suck at them.

Rob: Yeah, to be fair, the only platformer I could handle when I was younger was Sonic 3 and that's becuase I got tails to fly over the entire level like a boss.

James: How great is Tails?

Rob: So great.


Who will win the discussion? We're judging it based on what game sells more on a daily basis, and we'll update this page with a suitable fatality picture!


So what will it be? Super Meat Boy or Dustforce?

-James

Saturday, 16 March 2013

To The Moon Out of Stock

Hi all,

Due to a higher-than-expected demand we're temporarily out of keys for To The Moon, and working to get more. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee these will arrive to us before the indie weekend promotion is over, but will do everything we can.

It's especially unfortunate because To The Moon is an incredible experience, and even if you can't get it now, you should definitely make sure to pick it up at some point.

Update 2303 GMT March 16th: We now have more stock of this :) Thanks to Kan Gao for being very quick to react! If you get it now, make sure to thank him!

-James

Rob v James: To The Moon v Chivalry


With all the indies on offer this weekend at GMG, Rob and I decided to sit down and have a discussion over a few of the notable titles in the sale. Just in case there's anyone out there who is a long-way off their payday, or only needs a couple of games to tide them over!

Today we're talking about Chivalry and To The Moon!


James: To The Moon is a nice game game and all, I'll admit right now it made me cry, but if you've gotta base a purchase on how many hours you'll get out of it Chivalry is a clear winner. There's only a very loose story ("civil war, get a sword, go, go, go!"), but the sheer gameplay is addictive enough to keep you on it for hours.

Rob: That's a cheap shot. Yeah, To the Moon is short, it's short like the fuse of a bomb filled with emotion and tears and little paper birds. Chivarly may be an awesome multiplayer game, but the height of the emotional experience is shouting FOR AGATHAAAAAAAA or whatever over and over again on servers. You can get Chivalry another day, To the Moon is a unique gaming 'experience', and I don't use the term experience lightly.

James: I'd consider Chivalry's strengths more in being a visceral experience than an emotional one, though the voice macros are definitely emotive in that game. I'd say similarly to Frozen Synapse there's a strong focus on the skill of the player (I wonder if there's a theme in the games I tend to play...), because as you say it's all about the multiplayer aspect. Knowing when to parry, counter, feint or strike, and being able to accurately aim and time all of that into a switch dispatch of your opponent really test you as a player, and the feeling when you're victorious, while not emotional, is certainly exhilarating.

Rob: Yeah but you know what the worst thing about games is? Other people. And online, they are everywhere, getting up in your grill. I get that there's sometimes you wanna go and fight people, and I won't lie, To the Moon isn't exactly a "game", there's virtually no gameplay beyond walking around and doing a few puzzles, but my god, is it well written. It's exhilirating in a far deeper way, and a far rarer way, too. Few games come close to the writing, characterisation and music that To the Moon does, I wouldn't trade that for a halbred and a funny hat.

James: Don't knock the halberd, Vanguards will knock your flat on your butt.  It's probably not worth arguing over whether multiplayer enhances a game or not (yet...) since that could go on for a while.  In this instance it will come down to a person's general preferences. Do you wanna be taken on a roller coaster of emotion and feel that the characters are genuinely alive? To The Moon is what they'll want. Do you wanna see some sweet decapitations and yell battle cries as you charge towards the enemy castle? Chivalry is the only option!  That's one thing I'd wanna say actually, even though they're totally different games, the sound in both is incredible.

Rob: You're right, they are both pretty different and they both do awesome stuff. But you should still get To the Moon if you could only get one, because it's like nothing else out there. Then you should come back, perhaps tomorrow, and get Chivalry too, after completing To the Moon and sitting in a puddle of your own tears. I'd also like to say to those you worried about the graphics or the fact it's been made in RPG Maker to CHILL OUT and grab it anyway, the format totally works, even if you don't normally like pixel art style.

James: Well, if longevity of a game is a factor it's gotta be Chivalry. Where To The Moon is single-player you can rest safe in the knowledge that story will always be there, ready and waiting for you. With a game where the multiplayer is at it's core, you want to grab it while it's hot. That covers it really, unless I need to pick up my halberd and start swinging.



Who will win the discussion? We're judging it based on what game sells more on a daily basis, and we'll update this page with a suitable fatality picture!


So what will it be? To The Moon or Chivalry?


-James


Friday, 15 March 2013

Rob v James: Strike Suit v Frozen Synapse

With all the indies on offer this weekend at GMG, Rob and I decided to sit down and have a discussion over a few of the notable titles in the sale. Just in case there's anyone out there who is a long-way off their payday, or only needs a couple of games to tide them over!

Today we're talking about Strike Suit Zero and Frozen Synapse!


James: Since I've never played it, how about we start with you telling me a brief bit about Strike Suit Zero?

Rob: Alright. It's a spaceship game. I played it at Rezzed last year and it was one of the most interesting games at the show.  I think I'd just played Aliens and Far Cry and I was like, what's this anime thing? And then I played it, and it made me happy.  I realise that hasn't explained the gameplay much. It's like Freespace, or Wing Commander, only with a bit of mech stuff thrown in. If you haven't played Freespace of Wing Commander I'm just going to cry right now.

James: Okay so I just googled Wing Commander, and found the Boxart for the third game. It looks like some bizarre Han Solo & Chewbacca spin-off story. No offense to anyone involved on the game at all. I think it's just before my time. The X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter games were good though. I imagine it's similar in the core gameplay to those.

Rob: It was a product of the 90s. A good one. Just like Rebel Assault and X-Wing, you're right. But if Wing Commander was riffing off Star Wars, Strike Suit Zero is probably more like Macross or Gundam or one of those other animes where big robots get really upset. I'm not even that into big robots getting upset as a rule, but Strike Suit really drew me in.

James: I've never been able to get into the Gundam style, which could be what's kept me from Strike Suit Zero. I've found Frozen Synapse's  turn-based strategy of complete paranoia a much bigger draw. It gives you a lot of room to second-guess yourself and think about multiple outcomes to your choices.  For anyone that might not have heard of it, you face off against an opponent, with a small team of men. You take your turns simultaneously and commit to your plan, and then the short sequence of actual time plays out. You can only take a guess at what your opponent will do, meaning you could wipe their team out in just a few turns, or completely fail as your whole team walks right into shotgun fire.

Rob: I guess the reason I prefer giant space robot laser fight (beyond the obvious) is because that all sounds terribly random. It sounds like it relies more on informed guesswork and hope and dreams. I enjoy myself a bit of turn based strategy but if I'm going to play an action game, it's going to have lasers. And the sound, James, did I mention the sound? SSZ's music comes from the guy that did the HOMEWORLD music. It sounds like a mix between Battlestar Galactica and a Mass Effect nightclub and works perfectly with the art style. Talking about art style, I'd like to use this opportunity to point out that my game has textures, which I feel definitely adds to the experience.

James: Music isn't everything though. The OST for Frozen Synapse is awesome, it's great for the tension in every game and not so powerful it distracts you from the gameplay, but the additional sound effects are brilliant in their simplicity. You kill an enemy? You get an operator lady saying "Hostile down." Lose one of your guys? "Unit lost."  As far as textures go, again the power is in the minimalism. It's not trying to be a big display of graphical beauty, it's letting you glide past all that in the favour of the powerful and engaging core gameplay.  Really I'm just saying if people can only buy one, buy Frozen Synapse.

Rob: I'm not all about graphics, for sure. One of my favourite games ever doesn't have any graphics at all, really and another is Minecraft. What I do like is detail. Art style. Thought and direction put into what's going on. It's all about develping context. Minimalism is fine, but I want to know what I'm fighting and where and why. Strike Suit Zero is pretty epic in scale as space games seem to be, and it has a story that follows the campaign and missions where objectives change on the fly.  So definitely spend your hard earned space dollar on Strike Suit. Did I mention is bloody hard? Like, really hard. Not as hard as Dark Souls, but harder than most games, it doesn't hold your hand and it doesn't care if you die, which I k now a lot of GMG peeps will really enjoy.

James: Nothing is harder than fighting other people with actual brains though! They can be downright devious!

Who will win the discussion? We're judging it based on what game sells more on a daily basis, and we'll update this page with a suitable fatality picture!


So what will it be? Frozen Synapse or Strike Suit Zero?

-James

GMG Indie Weekend


This weekend at Green Man Gaming is a celebration of everything indie! We're going to have offers on over one hundred different indie titles, so we're pretty damn confident there's going to be something for everyone: Platformers, physics puzzles, shooters, RPGs and more!

Here is just a very very short list of what's going to be on during the weekend. All of the offers go live at 1700 GMT March 15th and run until 1700 GMT March 18th:



There are also a hell of a lot more so check out the site this weekend.

Rob and I will be talking a little bit about some of the games on offer this week, too, and if you can only choose a couple of games these are the ones we think you should really consider!

Make sure you enter our Indie Weekend Competition, too!

-James

GMG Trivia: To The Moon makes people cry. Okay, so that's not really trivia. Just fact. If you don't cry then I don't even...