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Friday, November 05, 2010

Game Play: Neuroshima Hex (iPhone)

This is a post a long time coming. As a huge Neuroshima Hex fan, I was impatiently waiting the release of the iPhone version of the game since I first heard about it. My expectations were pretty high: it is a fast pacedturn based game, very strategic and dynamic, played out on a board of specific height and width - in other words, a nearly perfect candidate for the iPhone's touchscreen.

I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. The guys at Big Daddy's and Portal Publishing took the effort to heart and have created a highly polished, extremely authentic, and insanely fun portable version of the game.  As of the latest version (1.01 I believe), the bugs are quite few and the only one that really comes to mind is the ability to crash the game by flipping back and forth between menus at the wrong time during a battle.  Trust me, that doesn't happen anywhere near as often as it might sound and actually only turns up as minor inconvenience from time to time.  The game saves the game before every turn, so even if you have to go dash off to that meeting - everything will be waiting for you when you return.

While geared mostly to fans of the game, the developers do provide an introductory video and explanations for all the tiles.  If the game is intimidating to new users, that's probably more to do with the unique ruleset of Neuroshima rather than any fault on the development team.  I actually feel like I know the game much better now having played against the computer with the core set of rules.

So the only thing I want now is more, more, more... the expansion sets, the iPad support, online play, etc.  But for now, I think the dev team deserves a well earned lager and a couple rounds against Moloch.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas ... A Game So Buggy Good Luck Finishing It

This is a follow up to the post from Friday which noted that while Fallout: New Vegas is pretty fun, it's also full of bugs which are completely ridiculous for a console game in this day and age. I challenged anyone to find a buggier game in the history of the console.

I'm going to up the ante on that. I think Fallout: New Vegas may be the buggiest game ever released.

On any console.


My evidence? I can't finish the game. I've tried previous saves, I've tried cleaning the disc, I've tried giving the PlayStation 3 a good old reboot, I've tried moving to other locations and then back - but I can't get into The Strip. The load screen appears, and then there is a black screen. And where do I need to go to finish the game? The Strip. Is there any other way to get there? No, Bethesda didn't have any of the locations in the The Strip as a named location. You can't even go directly there via fast travel, you have to go to a gate first and the walk in ... which is where every thing just fades to black.

And that's it. I've played this game for hours, I've gone on dozens of quests and in an effort to stop the game from crashing I decided to just sprint for the finish line and get to the end of the main storyline. But I'll never get that. This is how the game ends for me:

The load screen appears, and then there is a black screen.

That Bethesda has released a game of this low quality is bad, but it's equally bad that the gaming media has decided to give them a pass. IGN rates this game an 8.5, or "great". Really? Let's recap.

The load screen appears, and then there is a black screen.

That is not a great game. I might be able to give it a good, but a game that can crash consistently after only running for thirty minutes or less with nor rhyme or reason is probably barely worthy of even being a good game, even if everything about the gameplay was stellar.

So Bethesda: don't count on me buying any DLC for this game. Hell, don't even count on the disc ever gracing my console again. And if any game from Bethesda ever has a review with the word bug in it again, I don't care if the rating is off the chart - it's not a purchase option for me. I'd be irate if this was a PC game, but on a console? This lack of quality control is simply idiotic.