Saturday, October 31, 2009

YouTube Channel Update: Greatest Battles Playlist

Some days back, I launched my "Greatest Battles" playlist on my YouTube channel. I hope to populate it with videos showing me struggling against the baddest, meanest video game encounters.

I've already made one; my "FEAR - Nightcrawler Commander Boss Fight," which shows me against the Nightcrawler Commander in F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate. I hope to add my struggle (yes, it was that hard), against the last boss of the downloadable free PC FPS horror survival game "The Suffering" in the days ahead.

The video---if will be added---will be found after the jump.

>>>Click here to

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Downloadable Free PC FPS Horror Shooter Zombpocalypse

So you've just gone home from the office and all these numbers are swirling in your cranium. Cranium. Yes, to de-stress you want to bash some heads in. You can't do that to your neighbors --- the cops will get you. A game. Yes you want a game. One that involves simple mindless shooting and none of the banal complexities that games nowadays tend to force on their players. A flash game perhaps? You click the Mozilla Firefox ico---wait.

I've got something better.

It has got all the gore you want, the simple mindlessness of the catharsis that you crave for, all in one adrenaline-pumping package that recalls back the days of arcade yore. Layer this with advanced graphics effects like specular, lightmaps, dynamic shadows, muzzle flashes, and advanced shaders and you've got one hell of a zombie shooter.

Image taken from the Zombpocalypse official site. Posted here for the sole purpose of promoting the game.

And it's free.

The review after the jump.

Zombpocalypse is a downloadable freeware zombie survival third-person shooter. And while the game barely squeaks through to be called a "full version game," all its other aspects forcefully cut through skin, bone, and innards where presentation is concerned.

To be fair, FilePlanet does tout it as a "demo" and not a full version PC game. The game puts you in the role of a survivor who runs around a number of maps that you can select from, mowing ranks of undead down, gathering weapons that intermittently spawn at fixed locations around the tiny maps.

That's right, there is no progression, no storyline, no boss fights, just you running around killing dead things that had refused to die the first time.

But oh man, does it deliver; everything from the shadows, the lighting, the specular effects --- this is one game that impresses. The audio is superb in that guns are a joy to fire. The game's flamethrower is sick: it has got the right amount of hiss and basso effects to it while the game's magnum sounds so powerful you'll be grinning diabolically everytime you manage to snatch it.

And snatch everything you will. Every moment in this game involves you running. Take a hit from an infected, and the screen shakes and blur. Get your health level low enough and you'll begin to limp around.

Which is a bad thing. Pouncers and leapers anyone? How about huge zombies that can breathe fire?

Yeah, you need to run. Every. Single. Time.

It's just you and waves of undead circling around like the stark raving mad people that you all are in this game. And you are going to do this in tiny areas that barely can be called levels, such is their Lilliputian dimensions.

As much as I'd like to go on extolling the game, Zombpocalypse does come in a filesize that's as small as the levels it contains. The 39Mb filesize already serves as a caveat to first-time players of the game --- aside from the things I've mentioned, there really isn't anything to do in the game aside from running around blasting animated rotting corpses while picking up health packs and weapons.

However, if you think of it as an arcade trip with advanced graphics trappings, this free PC zombie shooter more than delivers. And for $0, it's well worth the price of bashing some craniums in.

Without harming your neighbors.

>>> Visit the game's official site HERE.

>>>See more downloadable full version free FPS PC multiplayer shooter games from HERE

>>>Click here to read more... Releases v2.3 of its Downloadable Mechwarrior 2 Remake - Assault Tech 1: Battletech

A few weeks back, I wrote about the impending release of several of the MechWarrior 4 games. The release was supposed to be timed with the 25th anniversary of the Battletech games. While it was not released in time due to the quintessential problem of free projects (real life financial demands imposing themselves on the dev team), has not reneged on their promise of releasing the games for free. Meanwhile, they've redesigned their site and released an open beta version of their Assault Tech 1: Battletech project.

Details---and a video link of the downloadable PC game---after the jump. surely has gotten an overhaul yesterday --- the site now has a brand new interface; it even shows a short animation clip of a Vulture (if memory serves). It also has a link to its YouTube channel.

Latest update video of the project. Please take note that this is still only a tech demo release.


>>>Battletech - MechWarrior 4 downloadable full version free FPS PC game release update: MekTek post #1

>>>Battletech - MechWarrior 4 downloadable full version free FPS PC game release update: MekTek post #2

>>>See my review of the demo version of Battletech - MechWarrior 4 downloadable full version free FPS PC game HERE

>>>More downloadable full version free FPS PC games HERE

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne 1.24b Replay: Night Elf Huntresses vs Undead Ghouls

What happens when you pull off a Night Elf Huntress rush and see it fall apart before your eyes? You get a counter rush in the form of an Undead ghoul rush of course. What to you do?

You run.

You run back to your base and hope your micro can save your failed onslaught and hopefully win you the game. Which was what happened.

The videos of me and my friend duking it out in Echo Isles in a Warcraft 3: The Frozen throne 1.24b after the jump.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

AMAI 2.54b Now Out (AI Mod for Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne 1.24b)

Since the recent 1.24b patch has rendered AMAI incompatible with Warcraft 3, its creator (a programmer who goes by the alias StrategyMaster) has released version 2.54b.

Advanced Melee AI is a third-party AI mod for the realt-time strategy game Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne. It greatly enhances Warcraft 3's AI's micromanagement abilities. While it's nowhere as good as Warcraft 3 pros, it does provide a sufficient challenge for casual players of the game.

See links to:

  • a video of me squaring of against the Advanced Melee AI
  • a guide on how to install the AI mod for Warcraft 3 version 1.24b

after the jump.

>>> See videos of how the AMAI behaves in a match.

>>> Impressed by the vastly improved AI but don't know how to install the AI mod? Click HERE.

>>>Click here to

Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne 1.24b List of Aspects to Master

It's been a while. Typhoon Ketsana really effed up my ISP, dampening my desire to post the past few days. During this time I immersed myself once again in Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne 1.24b. Six years has passed since its release and I still have yet to master the game.

A friend of mine once said "Why play Warcraft? You can just play DotA. Why the need for buildings when you can just whale on each other a hundred ways until next Friday?" I feel sad that a lot of people feel this way. The Frozen Throne is one of the deepest games out there. You can't feel it if your opponent is one of those non-pro players (not that I am one) who mistakenly think that it still is the age of "let's-see-who-amasses-the-largest-army-first-while-we-all-turtle-in-our-bases."

Warcraft 3 is a flurry of bloodshed and an elegant theater of death all at the same time. The measured but rapid harassment strikes of pro players is beautiful to behold and one can't help but feel inspired to learn the ways of the gosus.

I've posted a lot of questions in the WcReplays forums and a lot of those people there are helpful. I've managed to pick up a trick or two and applied them in a LAN game with one of my friends.

Also, a list of what I feel to be the areas in which I lack after the jump (this list will be updated as I continue playing).

  1. Spam clicking - They say it improves your micro. I'm a bit skeptical about this but hey, if a whole mob of ladder players say so, it must be true.
  2. Refocusing - oftentimes I focus-fire with my ranged units and the opponent dances it away, I don't shift targets, resulting in my formation breaking and the opponent's heavier melee troops collapsing into my ranged lines. Add the fact that the ranged units will chase their target around, wasting precious seconds not doing damage to the enemy ranks.
  3. Forgetting to upgrade weapons and armor - must group the Hunter's Hall (I'm an NE player) with the barracks (Ancients of War); doing so might fix this --- the presence of the HH icon everytime I call up the 'rax will be sure to remind me of uprgrading my army's doodads or claws, or the leaves that cover their.... nvm.
  4. Forgetting to buy items for my heroes - what's an NE hero without Boots of Speed? A staff of TP is also vital. Circlet is "situational" according to some WcReplays posters.
  5. Not abusing Staff of Preservation - self-explanatory.
  6. Switching teleportation items between heroes - "Help meee! I'm daieyiiing!" shouted the Panda. "Use your staff!" the DH shouted. "Oh sh-- it's with me." "I should have never joined you! I should have stayed with my bamboos! PETA will have your head for this! I ---*" Sploorch.

>>>Download Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne Patch 1.24b from HERE

>>>See more Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne resources (where to place NGL One professional map files to view Warcraft III: Frozen Throne replays, micromanagement resources, gameplay videos, links to important strategy articles, etc) HERE. (Scroll down to see more.))

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Manually Cleaning Your Registry Can be Dangerous - Back It Up with ERUNT

So I was out of action for several days as I cleaned my registry beyond the usual norm --- I hunted down every trace of VLC, K-lite, and DivX and poof! My PC intermittently froze every time I tried viewing por--- I mean documentary and kid-friendly Pixar films. Luckily, I have a time machine in the form of ERUNT, a downloadable on-demand registry back up freeware. I made an article about ERUNT a year back.

The article on how to back up and restore your registry using ERUNT and why it is superior to Window's Restore Point feature after the jump.

See the article about the downloadable on-demand registry system restore freeware HERE.

>>>Click here to

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nvidia GeForce 191.07 WHQL Hang Crash Desktop Problems

Nvidia's latest WHQL video card driver, the GeForce 191.07 (they dropped the "Forceware" several months back), is not as perfect as its WHQL label claims it to be (one reason why I trust 3rd-party Nvidia-based video card drivers --- even WHQL ones have bugs so wth). Nvidia's latest offering seems to cause hang and crash problems in several games. There are also games that stutter with this Nvidia video card driver.

Links to forum discussions about 191.07 hang and crash problems after the jump.

Negative comment (Nvidia forums): "However 191.07 drivers are like malign cancer spreading metastases in OS here and there, so I am not sure whether driver sweeper kills them all."

Advisory (Sims 3 forums): "there is currently an issue with the NVidia 191.07 drivers and the Sims 3 game. "

Problem with the new GeForce 191.07 video card driver (techPowerUp! forums)

Stuttering issues (TweakForce forums under New Drivers > 191.07 WHQL thread): "
major stuttering during Artillery strikes in Call of duty WAW."

Of course, there are others who have not experienced any problems with this video card driver on their PCs but I've never encountered such manifold complaints about an Nvidia driver. I'm going back to Xtreme-G 190.62.

>>>Click here to see the video card benchmark test results of several Nvidia GeForce drivers

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nvidia GeForce ION 191.07 WHQL Video Card Driver Released

Nvidia just released their ION 191.07 WHQL video card driver. This one supports "GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, and 200-series desktop GPUs and ION desktop GPUs."

Details after the jump. This Nvidia GeForce ION WHQL video card driver has the following highlights (info quoted from Nvidia's official site):

  • Adds support for OpenGL 3.2 for GeForce 8, 9, 100, and 200-series GPUs and ION GPUs.
  • Accelerates performance in several gaming applications.
  • Adds SLI support for several games including Need for Speed: Shift and Dawn of Magic 2: Time of Shadows.
>>>Download Nvidia GeForce ION 191.07 from HERE

>>>See Nvidia GeForce video driver benchmark software results HERE

>>>Click here to

Nvidia GeForce 191.03 Video Card Benchmark Test Results

I finally found the time to feed the Nvidia Geforce 191.03 driver to my bevy of benchmarking software. Surprisingly for a stock Nvidia GeForce driver, this one displays clearer images; the image quality is nearly at par with with the 3rd-party Tweakforce drivers.

Details after the jump.This Nvidia GeForce driver performed even more poorly than Tweakforce's Xtreme-G Nvidia GeForce ION 190.62 in synthetic benchmark tests. It performed marginally better in F.E.A.R. and Nexuiz but presented an abysmal 38.8 frames per second in the Lightsmark 2008 benchmark test.

>>>Click here to see the video card benchmark test results of the Nvidia GeForce 191.03 driver

>>>Click here to

Monday, October 5, 2009

Review: Downloadable Free PC FPS Full Version Horror Shooter The Suffering

The Suffering is a third-person horror shooter game from developer Midway Games, the maker of the Mortal Kombat series. In the game, you play as Torque, a man incarcerated for the massacre of his entire family. In an innovative gameplay scheme that uses the much-overused plot device amnesia, the player has direct control of how much truth lies in this allegation.

This game has an ESRB "Mature" rating. The review might be disturbing for kids.

The review of the downloadable free PC FPS full version horror shooter---and the download link---after the jump.

If The Suffering were a book, I'd say it's a good one but not a page-turner. Unlike games where the pacing presents plot hooks that elicit a deep curiosity to find out what happens next (Halo, etc) or games that present you with awe-inspiring firefights and/or foes that have superior AI (the F.E.A.R. series, No One Lives Forever, etc), The Suffering for the most part presents you with sequences that feel too drawn-out. For most of the game, there's not much in the way of story development; it feels like a dungeon crawl with you blazing and chopping your way through waves and waves of hellspawn. Fans of Serious Sam and the first Doom games will find action here that will prove satisfying but gamers who are looking for more depth may feel the game a bit bland for their tastes.

The monsters of the game come in many forms. They are also one of the most ingeniously-designed creatures I've seen in quite a while (except for the ubiquitous Slayers; the whole marionette-Hellraiser-Voldo fusion comes off as hackneyed). All of the monsters that skitter, burrow, glide, and lope across Abbott Penitentiary echo their former lives and the horrors of their deaths --- Marksmen are amalgams of rifles and the bodies of firing squad victims while Mainliners are ghastly imps that are impaled with multiple syringes that contain lethal poison.

Scare tactics: a Slayer drags one of its shivs on the floor.

While having limited AI, these creatures have varying attacks and maneuvers that more than immerse players in moments of sheer fright and frenetic life-or-death struggles; it's chilling to see a Slayer while its time, dragging one of the swords connected to its forearms along the ground; it's also sickening to see a Fester--in addition to its usual flailing attacks---open up its belly, disgorging packs of rats from its corpulent form, red layers of viscera showing through the flaps of meat that it peels back.

The Suffering also doesn't hold back with encounters. While most of the time the game hurls small mobs of undead at you, there are also moments where it opens the floodgates of Hell and you begin to wonder, "Gewd loards, am I doing this right? Maybe this scene has points that have infinite spawns and I'm not supposed to tarry here. GewdloardsheretheycomeagainI'mgonnadieI'mgonnadieI'mgonnadie" and just when you get buried under a wave of rotting, screaming, gibbering, snarling undead, the firefight ends and you're left there panting, "I'm still alive! That was impossible but I'm still alive!"

Of course, most of the time, you die --- save often.

Except for the aforementioned periods, The Suffering is not infuriatingly difficult (this coming from someone who finished the entire F.E.A.R. series at Extreme Difficulty without using SloMo; your experience with The Suffering might be different from mine) but it does ramp up the difficulty significantly in its later parts.

Tortured existence: the ground vomits a Marksman from its depths.

As mentioned, the game also grants players direct control on how the plot turns out. In various points of the game, players are presented situations where they can be good, neutral, or evil. Their choices in these key points will have a direct impact on the game's outcome --- kill everyone in sight and you get the "evil" ending; doing the opposite of course gives you the "good" one. I'm not sure on how to get the "neutral" one but a walkthrough reveals that killing everyone and not using Torque's ability to turn into a monster (you acquire this in the first part of the game) give you it.

What I don't like about the game is its color theme that's prevalent in most of the game --- it's too orangy, from Torque's pants to the surrounding terrain, the downloadable free PC FPS full version horror shooter is steeped in shades of orange. It may be in the realm of the subjective, but surely, isn't there a better color scheme than shades of orange? And no, it's not about the PC game's ancient game engine; Silent Hill or Resident Evil's surroundings look better in terms of color.

Yes, orange. Lots of it.

The free PC FPS' audio, with the exception of the voice acting, is a letdown. Firearms have a meaty feel to them and they have just the right amount of bass. However, they're kind of rough around the edges, making firing them not as appealing as shooting guns in say, Far Cry or Area 51, another game from Midway that has been released as freeware. It's not bad but it's far from perfect.

And then there's my issue with voices. They fade belatedly --- run away from a character who's talking and his voice will still have the same level of volume from three meters off.

Complaints aside, The Suffering does have several interesting characters. In order not to present spoilers, suffice to say I particularly like one escapee and one of the main characters, whose overall design, showman-esque voice, and frequent appearances imbue the game with a bit of the story immersion I've mentioned that this game is somewhat lacking. If this game had more of these interesting encounters, The Suffering would have been something else entirely. Sadly though, the non-player characters are few and far between, leaving you to run through the game alone (more so if you kill everyone in sight just to get the game's "evil" ending).

A malefactor flails away with hook-tipped chains. The monster is essentially a human body stuffed in a sack with chains for weapons.

Overall, The Suffering is a good horror PC game that, while feeling too drawn-out in the first parts, does boast of intermittent hair-raising encounters and frenetic gunfights that are reminiscent of the first Doom games. Fans of PC horror games that present mobs of helllspawn to cut a swath through should definitely try this one out.

When you get to the last battle, I wish you good luck: this game has one of the hardest, meanest final boss encounters I've ever been in. >)_)

>>>Download this downloadable free PC FPS full version horror shooter from HERE

>>>See gameplay videos of this downloadable free PC FPS full version horror shooter HERE

>>>See more downloadable full version free FPS PC multiplayer shooter games from HERE

>>>Click here to

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Update: Imbacore

It's been nearly four days since I last posted. Busy; office work and all. During my absence I've...

Quick doodle using GIMP 2.6 and a Manhattan graphic tablet

The list after the jump

  • Downloaded the latest Nvidia GeForce driver. I'll post my benchmark test results this Sunday.
  • Downloaded the latest version of my preferred audio codec pack. I'll post my observations this Sunday.
  • Learned that some company is releasing one of their game engines for free.
  • Beat a downloadable free PC FPS full version shooter. I'll be posting my in-depth review of the third-person shooter this Sunday or Monday.

>>>Click here to