Monday, December 26, 2011

Left 4 Dead 2 Weapon Stats

Playing Left 4 Dead on expert can be a serious challenge and valve doesn't exactly provide a weapons guide in the game. Here are some weapon stats to help make your trek through hordes of undead a little easier.

Tier 1
 
Silenced SMG (MAC-10)
Shots in a Magazine: 50
Total Shots: 650
Damage Per Shot: 25
Rate of Fire: 1000/minute
Damage Per Second: 400
Damage Per Magazine: 1250
Seconds to Reload: 2.35
Accuracy: Worst of Tier 1 SMG’s

 
SMG (UZI)
Shots in a Magazine: 50
Total Shots: 480
Damage Per Shot: 20
Rate of Fire: 1000/minute
Damage Per Second: 320
Damage Per Magazine: 950
Seconds to Reload: 2.35
Accuracy: Best of Tier 1 SMG’s

 
Pump Shotgun
Shots in a Magazine: 8
Total Shots: 56
Damage Per Shot: 250 (10 pellets * 25 damage each)
Rate of Fire: 69/minute
Damage Per Second: 287
Damage Per Magazine: 2000
Seconds to Reload: 0.473 (single shell), 3.784 (complete reload)
Accuracy: Worst of Tier 1 Shotguns

 
Chrome Shotgun
Shots in a Magazine: 8
Total Shots: 56
Damage Per Shot: 248 (8 pellets * 31 damage each)
Rate of Fire: 69/minute
Damage Per Second: 285
Damage Per Magazine: 1984
Seconds to Reload: 0.473 (single shell), 3.784 (complete reload)
Accuracy: Best of Tier 1 Shotguns

 
Hunting Rifle
Shots in a Magazine: 15
Total Shots: 150
Damage Per Shot: 90
Rate of Fire: 240/minute
Damage Per Second: 360
Damage Per Magazine: 1350
Seconds to Reload: 3.25
Accuracy: Equal to that of the Military Sniper

 
Tier 2
 
Tactical Shotgun (Auto)
Shots in a Magazine: 10
Total Shots: 90
Damage Per Shot : 253 (11 pellets * 23 damage each)
Rate of Fire: 200/minute
Damage Per Second: 840
Damage Per Magazine: 2530
Seconds to Reload: 0.396 (single shell), 3.96 (complete reload)
Accuracy: Worst of Tier 2 Shotguns

 
Combat Shotgun (SPAS)
Shots in a Magazine: 10
Total Shots: 90
Damage Per Shot: 252 (9 pellets * 28 damage each)
Rate of Fire: 200/minute
Damage Per Second: 836
Damage Per Magazine: 2520
Seconds to Reload: 0.396 (single shell), 3.96 (complete reload)
Accuracy: Best of Tier 2 Shotguns

 
Combat Rifle (SCAR)
Shots in a Magazine: 60
Total Shots: 360
Damage Per Shot: 44
Rate of Fire: 486/minute
Damage Per Second: 396
Damage Per Magazine: 2640
Seconds to Reload: 3.35
Accuracy: Best of Tier 2 Rifles

 
AK-47
Shots in a Magazine: 40
Total Shots: 280
Damage Per Shot: 58
Rate of Fire: 460/minute
Damage Per Second: 444
Damage Per Magazine: 2320
Seconds to Reload: 2.5
Accuracy: Worst of Tier 2 Rifles

 
Assault Rifle (M-16)
Shots in a Magazine: 50
Total Shots: 360
Damage Per Shot: 33
Rate of Fire: 685/minute
Damage Per Second: 376
Damage Per Magazine: 1650
Seconds to Reload: 2.35
Accuracy: Median of Tier 2 Rifles

 
Military Sniper
Shots in a Magazine: 30
Total Shots: 180
Damage Per Shot: 90
Rate of Fire: 240/minute
Damage Per Second: 360
Damage Per Magazine: 2700
Seconds to Reload: 3.5
Accuracy: Equal to that of the Hunting Rifle

 
Grenade Launcher
Shots in a Magazine: 1
Total Shots: 30
Damage Per Shot: 400
Rate of Fire: 16/minute
Damage Per Second: 106.7
Damage Per Magazine: 12,000
Seconds to Reload: 3

 
Pistols
 
P220 Pistol
Shots in a Magazine: 15 (30)
Total Shots: Infinite
Damage Per Shot : 36
Rate of Fire: 300 (600)/minute
Damage Per Second: 175 (350)
Damage Per Magazine: 540 (1080)
Seconds to Reload: 1.75 (2.45)
Accuracy: Best of the Pistols

 
Magnum Pistol
Shots in a Magazine: 8
Total Shots: Infinite
Damage Per Shot: 80
Rate of Fire: 180/minute
Damage Per Second: 240
Damage Per Magazine: 640
Seconds to Reload: 1.75
Accuracy: Worst of the Pistols

 
Ammunition
 
Normal Ammunition
Normal Ammunition will replenish the ammunition of any Tier 1 or Tier 2 weapon. It will not, however, replenish the ammunition inside a Magazine currently loaded. To fill your weapon completely, reload and then gather ammunition from a Normal Ammunition pile.
Note: Normal Ammunition piles do not refill the ammunition of Special Tier weapons such as the Grenade Launcher or Chainsaw.
 
Incendiary Ammunition
Incendiary Ammunition lights all normal and special infected on fire. It replaces the ammunition in your primary weapon until the Magazine is depleted. As such, it makes sense to allow the player with the largest Magazine to take this ammo type.
Note: Tanks are only lit for 5 seconds when hit with Incendiary Ammunition.
 
Explosive Ammunition
Explosive Ammunition causes an explosion upon impact, instantly killing common infected and dealing massive damage to special infected. It creates a small shockwave that will knock down common infected within the radius and cause special infected players to stumble. It replaces the ammunition in your primary weapon until the Magazine is depleted. When loaded into a shotgun, the weapon will fire high-damage slugs instead of pellets.
Note: Explosive Ammunition does not do any more damage than normal ammunition to a tank.
 
Laser Sight
The laser sight increases the accuracy of any Tier 1 or Tier 2 weapon.
Note: Laser sight upgrades cannot be transfered. Picking up a new weapon, even the same weapon as the gun on which the laser sight is applied, will disengage the upgrade. Picking up the gun you just dropped will re-engage it.
 
Melee Weapons
 
All melee weapons do 400 damage a hit. They instantly kill normal infected and most special infected. It takes 10 melee hits to bring down a tank and 2 for a charger. The melee weapons differ in their effective range, arc, and swing speed. The only firm number I can provide is the swing speed in seconds. Lower numbers are better, since the weapon swings faster. As a caveat, player consensus seems to be that the katana and axe have the widest arc and killing range.


Baseball Bat
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.84
 
Crowbar
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.92
 
Electric Guitar
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.92
 
Fire Axe
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.92
 
Frying Pan
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.89
 
Machete
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.67
 
Cricket Bat
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.84
 
Tonfa (Nightstick)
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.65
 
Katana
Swing Speed (Seconds): 0.78
 
Chainsaw
Damage Per Hit: 100
Rate of Fire: 600/minute (10/second)
Damage Per Second: 1000
Seconds of Usage: 60
Total Damage Possible: 60,000

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Drink Beer.

Happy holidays from Geeks on Games. Drink beer!

10 Things We Want To See In Fallout 4





To me Fallout 3 was pure magic. Not only was Bethesda giving me another amazing sandbox game, they were giving me guns as well. As with most Bethesda titles I have put a lot of time into this game, all the while praising it's name and scouring every nook and cranny the wastes has to offer. But of course it was only a matter of time until I started really picking the game apart, noticing its flaws and where the game could see some improvement. With Bethesda's newest release on shelves I grow excited at the thought of Fallout 4 growing ever closer and realize that a lot of the improvements that went into Skyrim will surely be improved further and implemented into the inevitable future Fallout release. Here I've compiled some things that  I personally would love to see happen to Fallout 4.

1: Location:









I think the big thing that everyone can agree on is that it's important for Fallout 4 to take place in an interesting environment. DC was a fantastic area to explore, we all saw landmarks we are familiar with and I loved the ruined down town section. I know that Bethesda scaled down the size of the urban section of the game but man wouldn't it be great if there were more locations littered throughout the map. Skyrim is cluttered with interesting locations to hack your way through. The Mojave was barren and boring, I felt the world had no real flavor to it, and would be disappointed if Fallout 4 took place in such a desolate location.

2. More Content:


I would also like to see more content. Not to say that Fallout 3 had very little content, but when compared to the elder scrolls, there isn't a whole lot to do. Repeatable quests like the ones given in Skyrim would be a great addition. I'd love to see factions on the same level that the Elder Scrolls provides, much more locations to be discovered and more quest line's to be offered. Gun racks would be a great addition to houses, and more houses to choose from is always a good thing! Towns are not plentiful but I suppose I can't fault Bethesda for that since Fallout is a post apocalyptic game. 

3. Duel Wield:


The dual wield feature in Skyrim was a very cool addition to the game and its likely we will see something similar in Fallout 4. Duel wielding pistols or maybe using a pistol and a molotov will be a lot of fun and yes there will probably even be the option to duel wield blades, if you're that guy. I'm sure Bethesda will throw in plenty of tasty perks that will make duel wielding all the more enjoyable. And where the hell is the bow? Seriously, why is there no bow?

4. Disease:


Disease is an interesting part of the Elder Scrolls series. I'm not sure if Vampirism would work in the post apocalyptic world of Fallout, but it would be nice to see some diseases implemented into the game for a little flavor. Vampirism seriously changes how you play an Elders Scrolls game and I have a lot of friends that prefer to play that way (though I myself don't). You may argue that radiation sickness is a good replacement but I feel a little more thrown into the mix isn't a bad idea.

5. Hardcore:


Hard core mode was my favorite addition to Fallout: New Vegas. This is yet another way the player can choose to play the game and I personally found it to be a lot of fun and felt it added much to immersion. Not only would I like hard core mode to make an appearance in Fallout 4, but I would like to see Bethesda really branch out with the idea and take it to a new level. A sanity meter may be a fun addition!

6. Bow:
No bow? Really?!?!
If I can bring a knife to a gun fight then let me bring a bow.

7. Leveling:


One of the best things about the Elder Scrolls franchise is that it pulled away from conventional leveling and got rid of experience points. I would like for Fallout to do the same, maybe use a system similar to the one they use in Elder Scrolls or maybe even branch out into a new direction. Grinding experience is just getting old, Fallout is clearly no JRPG and could greatly benefit from trashing this cliche.

8. Restriction:


I can't believe I'm about to say this, but more restriction! In Skyrim we are able to level everything and get most of the perks we want. This isn't such a bad thing, but I really enjoy that agonizing decision, knowing that you may not be able to pick both in the long run. In addition a bit more restriction will give the game much more replay value, as you will find a better way to make your character over and over again.

9. Weather:


With Skyrim, Bethesda has taken weather patterns a step further. This was fun to see but it would be killer if they could start implementing such events as natural disasters. It would be rather interesting to be in a shoot out with a band of super mutants only to have to run to shelter in fear of being swept up by a ravaging tornado ripping through the land. Or maybe having to dodge falling debris caused by a large scale earth quake. This would add a lot to immersion and make survival in the wastes a bit more interesting.

10. Travel:


In the Elder Scrolls it is possible to buy a horse for faster exploration of the world without the use of fast travel. In Fallout we've had no such luck, which there is no real good reason for. Having to walk everywhere at a snails pace is a serious pain in the ass. In addition, if mounts were implemented into the game maybe disabling fast travel for hard core mode would add an interesting and immersive twist for the players experience.

Well there you have it. Feel free to share your own idea's for Fallout 4, I'd be happy to see what someone else thinks!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Geeks On Games Game Of The Year Showdown 2011! (Skyrim VS Dark Souls)

This article has been floating around my head a lot this month and knowing I wanted to do a game of the year article I was a bit stumped. On 11/11/11 Skyrim was not the only game I purchased. Waiting there for the clock to tick away another game taunted me from the shelf, and that game was Dark Souls. I don't think I could have gotten a better turn out for buying two games and thus I have recently been wasting an immense amount of time into these two titles. I figured I could just go with my gut and slap Skyrim with the game of the year award but what would be the fun in that right? So I decided to break down the two games to see which one is truly worthy of game of the year.

SKYRIM VS DARK SOULS

Plot:
If you've played any of Dark Souls what so ever than its obvious there isn't much of a story there. Dark Souls is all game play and honestly that's fine, but when comparing Dark Souls to Skyrim it's clear that Bethesda has the upper hand here. Skyrim's story has you by the manbits right from the get go. The NPC's are well varied for the size of the world and most quests will lead you to something interesting. Not to mention the shear number of quests the game has to offer which can be at times a bit overwhelming.  

Controls:
Though controls are a lot tighter in Skyrim than they were in Oblivion, neither come close to feeling as smooth as Dark Souls. The controls in Dark Souls are so fine tuned that every time you take a hit you know exactly what you did wrong. Dark Souls is absolutely one of the smoothest feeling games I have ever played.

Visuals:
I personally do not find Dark Souls to be all that visually appealing. Some of the textures seem to be a bit muddy and your surroundings are bland. I do have to note that Dark Souls has some really cool looking bosses but over all here I think its obvious that Skyrim holds supreme. Evey inch of Skyrim is given great detail and the terrain is masterfully crafted. The graphics in Skyrim are nothing short of stunning. 

Content:
This is a hard one because both of these games have a ridiculous amount of content. Skyrim has so many locations, dungeons and fun quests but I'm going to have to give this one to Dark Souls. With an infinite loop of new game + and over 500 experience levels to achieve this game could last you a very, very, very very long time. I doubt I will ever have it in me to reach the level cap but I will be playing on my current character long after I start a new one in Skyrim.

Environment:
Both of these games offer fantastic sandbox worlds for you to explore, and both are very different and unique. I love the way Dark Souls feels like one massive Zelda dungeon but when compared to Skyrim it seems infinitely more empty. Not only is the Skyrim map big but its dense, very dense. Its amazing how many locations Bethesda managed to cram in there and I was impressed beyond words at how good it all looks. I often enjoy just walking around the world looking at mountains and the rolling mist.

Bugs:
Both of these games have their fair share of bugs but some of Skyrim's bugs are down right obnoxious. From broken weapon racks to unpayable bounties, Skyrim is one of the buggiest games of the year.

Sound:
Dark Souls is not very flattering when it comes to sound. The music is not memorable, and a lot of the sound effects get very annoying, very quick. Skyrim on the other hand has one of the greatest sound tracks of all time. The music in Skyrim is one of its most immersive features.

Conclusion:
Both of these games are amazing and neither should be passed up. Dark Souls is rewarding, refreshing and challanging. It offers rich game play and has a massive open world to explore with few load screens to slow you down, but unfortunately I am going to have to go with Skyrim on this one.

2011 game of the year:
SKYRIM

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Diablo 3 Doomed Before Launch?

There was a time when Blizzard remained gods among men in my book. In Diablo I went down, down and down some more gleefully looting everything in sight and using barred doors to shield myself from the relentless attacks of the infamous butcher. When Diablo 2 was released I was doomed. I can remember skipping plenty of schools days because I was sick with Blizzard fever and later in my life even lost jobs because endlessly clicking was a hell of a lot more fun than slinging pizza's. I think for any gamer at least of my age there is a heavy load of nostalgia packaged up with the beast we know as Diablo and with Diablo 3 on its way (!?) I find myself a bit worried that it won't pack the same punch as its predecessors.

If you were an early veteran of a little game called World of Warcraft than you probably understand all to well what I am talking about. When it comes to WoW, I was there before the first battlegrounds were implemented, and at its start, WoW was a great game. A little too good honestly. As most, I was hooked for a long time and really enjoyed my time spent with the game. WoW classic may be Blizzards best game yet, but when it's popularity spread like a wild fire Blizzard (naturally) realized the games true potential. With all the money coming in and people all over the world praising WoW's glory Blizzard realized that by marketing its games to a younger audience as well, they would open up a whole new source of cash flow. Let's be fair here, it worked. Unfortunately World of Warcraft suffered greatly. To adapt to its new broader audience Blizzard made major changes to the game, greatly decreasing it's difficulty, adding childish entertainment as well as becoming a lot more strict with their rules. As the masses flooded in, tech support became horrendously more difficult and dealing with blizzard became a serious nuisance.
It's important to note that I really don't blame Blizzard. Seeing an opportunity to make more money, you and I would probably make the same move. I also understand that with all the children joining up for the fun Blizzard has to be really careful, but will Diablo 3 be any different? If you are like me one of the biggest reasons you love Diablo is because of how dark it is. Being surrounded by naked and impaled corpses was very surprising for its time. It added the trivial shock factor to the whole experience, but also offered so much more. Being constantly surrounded by such a dark evil served well as a reminder of the importance of your mission and cheered you on throughout your long journey to slay the great diablo. I feel its a safe assumption that a post WoW Diablo will be lacking in the gore department, and would the franchise really be the same?
Will it still be agonizingly painful to beat the game on hell difficulty as it was in Diablo 2? The games difficulty was challanging but with that challange came great reward. With such a scale of consumers itching to get their mits on Diablo 3 will Blizzard dare make the game as challenging and rewarding as they had when they were followed by a small mob of hard core fan boys? And how disappointing would it be if the game was plagued with an endless wave of poorly thought out expansions ending in Blizzard milking all its fans dry and destroying the overall enjoyment for the players.
Would you really be surprised if Blizzard waited to release a cow level only to charge players for it later? I'm left wondering if Blizzard will fall into shady business practices, leaving the player with minimal entertainment all while counting their stacks of money. There is no doubt that regardless of what happens the stack of money will be very high and Diablo 3 will sell even more copies than Diablo 2 did at launch. I personally will wait til long after release to get my copy but in the meantime I hope Blizzard has learned from its mistakes and really pulls through this time. With all the buzz they have been creating it will be interesting to see what happens in the long run.

PS: I refuse to mention Activision.
PPS: I failed.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Contra Hard (30 Hours Of Dark Souls: Discussion And Tips)







I am a man who loves a challenging game. So it goes without saying that when I had first heard about From Software's 2011 release, Dark Souls, I was instantly intrigued. The surprising thing is that not one of the people that had talked with me about it had a bad thing to say. What grabbed me the most is that the one thing that everyone seemed to agree on is that the game is hard. Very hard. If you have played Dark Souls or its predecessor, Demon Souls then you understand all too well. Dark Souls is beyond hard, its what I like to call "Contra hard".
Contra hard is a term I like to use for a game that is so frustratingly difficult it can be compared to the original Contra released on NES. Now to be fair I suppose it would be hard to actually compare the difficulty of a modern game with something like Contra because games are just not the same as they used to be, but Dark Souls is so frustrating at times it has me feeling like I want to smash the controller off the ground repeatedly screaming and cursing. Such feelings make me wonder if I did such things when I was nine because I was young or because games in that day were just that hard.






Dark Souls is an open world RPG that is best described as "unforgiving". The world is filled with enemies that will slash, claw, stab, bite, kick, crush, and maul you to death, and they are very, very, very good at it. You are going to die a lot, and the only way you will ever grow to like this game is if you are willing to accept and embrace this fact. If you so choose to open up your mind enough to embrace this then you will understand that every time you die you are going to learn something new and further understand what you need to do next time in order to get it right.
Dark Souls truly is only for the hard core gamer. Not only is this game extremely difficult, there is little visual appeal (though I wouldn't say terrible), no plot, the sound effects are down right annoying, and the game offers little explanation for everything. You will find no quest tracker and this game will not hold your hand what so ever.
I plan to dish out some tips at the end of this piece but first I'd like to talk about Dark Souls a bit as to give some people an advantage I never had.


In Dark Souls you will find yourself killing creatures to harvest their souls. Souls are not only experience points that can be used to level up but are also the form of currency in the world, so you will also be using up your precious souls to buy items from vendors and upgrade your weapons and armor as well. So it's a no brainer that souls are very important in Dark Souls, but here's the catch... When you die all souls you have collected are lost, but fear not, you will have one more chance to reclaim the souls you lost by making your way back to where you had fallen. Beware, if you die without reclaiming your lost souls they will be gone forever. Scattered throughout the world are bonfires, you may rest at these bonfires to refill your potions and level up, but resting at a bonfire will also reset most of the enemies in the world. Instead hacking away til you die it is often best to run back to bonfires when close to death. Honestly having a friend call to tell me that he or she lost 40,000 souls within the first 10 hours of the game would be just about as bad as informing me that his or her family pet just died.

"dude... i am so, so sorry..."
                                       
Now before I move on I'll give you a bit of an idea of what I've been working with. In Dark Souls I play a Knight and have thus far only used melee as my offense. I have not used a bow or magic nor have I put up the stats associated with these tactics. I am also playing offline, which means I have had no help from players leaving messages, I have not had any help from others during boss fights, and I have not even bothered trying to figure out how to turn human, therefore I have I had no help from summons. If you are playing online or bother to turn human than these fights may even be a bit easier for you. I have dumped almost all of my points into health and strength and have only recently beaten the Moonlight Butterfly, so other then the general game tips I will provide you will have to wait til I finish the rest of the game for more boss and enemy tips. 


Dark Souls Tips (Part 1):




Dark Souls can be a brutal game, but the controls are solid and the game is almost always fair, this being said I can't stress enough that to survive you must be extra cautious. The AI is not the best you've encountered and you will find attacks will not make it through terrain, so be sure to use your surroundings to your advantage and wait for your enemy to make mistakes. When you mess up you will know it, and it's likely you will see the massive amount of damage you are about to take coming. Unfortunately there is usually little you can do in this situation which can be infuriating, but it is also a great learning experience. Understand where things went wrong and next time make sure your aim is true.




Dark Souls features this neat control scheme that allows you to switch between dual wielding, sword and board and two hand nearly effortlessly. I myself have never found dual wielding to be all that great but I do often switch between sword and board and two hand very frequently. This is something that is best to play around with seeing as different situations you will run into will require a different approach. In scary situations the shield can be a life saver as a well placed block can greatly reduce or completely nullify damage all together. On the other hand in some situations such as boss encounters you may want to take a two hand approach  to shell out that extra damage. Be sure to use the lock-on feature often and always be prepared to block regardless of your equipment layout. A quick well placed block can be the difference between winning and losing a fight. 


Don't be afraid to spend many of your hours on soul farming. Leveling up can make those difficult encounters worlds easier and once you have reached a black smith reinforce all your armor and weapons. This is very, very, very important for survival, especially during your first play through. Expect some grinding but your efforts will be rewarded. 


Be extra careful with your pulls. The worst thing you can do in this game is pull a whole room of enemies when it's possible to pull one or two at a time. A bad pull will usual end in death. If you do pull far more than you can handle, try to lessen the pain you are about to endure and get as close to the nearest bonfire as possible before dying. This will make reclaiming your souls a lot easier.


Rolling is a great feature in Dark Souls and should never be over looked. Sometimes a well timed roll can save your life, and in this game you take everything you can get. Play around with rolling and you will find that once you have learned to implement this technique your quest for survival will be that much easier.


Don't be afraid to branch out. Many useful items can be found throughout the world so venture forth and see what you can find.

Humanity can be gained by grinding enemies in an area where the boss has not yet been defeated. Keep this in mind when looking to kindle fires for some extra estus. This does seem to exclude some area's. It seems whenever I am grinding in the area just before fighting Quelaag, I don't gain humanity. 


Humanity Sprites are a random drop from rats!




Now that I've given out some basic tips for survival I'll lay out some strategies for fighting some of the enemies I found to be a bit tricky.




Taurus Demon:




This is what I consider to be the first "real" boss of the game, and since you encounter it early on it can be a bit tricky. After you pass through the white light and before spawning the boss if you look to your right there will be a ladder that leads up to the top of the tower. On this tower are two skeleton archers that can make this fight more tricky than it needs to be. Carefully climb to the top of the tower and take out both of these enemies before fighting the boss. With this out of the way walk down the path until the demon spawns, it's best not to sprint until he jumps out at you. After the Taurus Demon has appeared sprint quickly back to the ladder on the tower and once again climb to the top. Once you are at the top and the boss is below you, quickly perform a jump attack off the tower which will inflict massive damage on the boss. If you are lucky you can make it to the top of the tower again and repeat, though I personally found it easier at this point to run in avoiding his attacks. Hug his manly bits and hack away with some two hand action until he falls.


Armored Boar:


If you know what to do this one is easy. As you climb the stairs take out the skeleton at the top and quickly take a sharp right. You will see a few pillars and another stair case. In the corner is also a spear skeleton and there will be another skeleton with a sword (if i remember correctly) coming up behind you from where the boar was standing. The boar will also peruse but as long as you stay behind the pillars he will not be able to attack you. Try and defeat the spear skeleton before the second one arrives and the latter will be easy to put down. Now time for the boar. I would like to note that at the time I was using a sword and am not sure how many other weapons you can use to the same effect. Attract the boar and stand safely behind the pillars. eventually the boar will lose interest and start to walk away. Use this opportunity to take the sword, line up behind the boar and stick it straight up his ass. That's right, I said stick it straight up his ass. Use this tactic and the boar will not be much of a hassle. 



Bell Gargoyle:
Ah the dreaded Bell Gargoyle. This is a fight that gave me a really hard time. Once you have passed through the white light the gargoyle will start rushing up to you from the opposite side of the roof. As you may know he will start out flying and will usually slam his pole arm down while he lands for his first attack. Dodge this attack by running around his left side and get an attack in, be careful though its hard to land a second at this time because he will normally jump away. I would once again recommend using two hand attacks, but use what works for you. Make sure you stay on the side of the roof you entered on and run around dodging his attacks until you see an opening. Its hard to get up close without taking some damage so expect you might be getting smacked around. Once you are in close enough hack away with the two hand method and if you are getting enough hits in you will notice the gargoyle stagger. Its best to try to attack from behind the gargoyle as this will allow you to better avoid his massive weapon. Once the gargoyle is at half health a second will appear. It is very important that you try your best to finish off the first one before the second arrives because if the second is left with the option to fight at a distance it will use a fire breathing attack that does MASSIVE damage and has an incredible reach. Once the first one is down try to get in close to the second and roll around to its back to get some attacks in. The second gargoyle starts at half health so it shouldn't take long to drop him. A nice bit of information is if you attack the first gargoyle's tail you can chop it off which will drop a powerful axe. If you die and have looted the axe it will remain in your inventory.

 Headless Stone Golem:     
Directly below the first blacksmith is the headless stone golem. When you first walk in he will start attacking you with ranged magic. While running at the boss dash around a bit and a lot of the magic will hit some of the terrain allowing you to get in close. Once in close watch his attack patterns closely and keep an eye out for an opening. Take out as much of his health as you can and when injured dash around til you get back to the stairs. Run to the top of the stairs where his magic cannot reach you and use a potion until fully healed then once again dash to golem. Repeat until you have killed the mini boss.

Moonlight Butterfly:


I also found this one to be a fairly easy boss. The boss has 4 different attacks, one he will charge up and shoot light spears everywhere, the second he will charge and shoot 3 slow moving orbs that will inflict heavy damage. Both of these attacks can be avoided with a well placed roll. With the orbs the idea is that you want to be on the ground and about to get up as they pass over your head. The third attack is a beam of light that it will project and move around. Carefully running around and keeping an eye out for area's where you can safely roll out of harms way is the best idea for this attack, though it may take a bit more concentration then the first two to avoid. After the boss has dished out several attacks try and stay close and keep an eye out, it will land on one of the sides of the bridge allowing you to run in for some heavy two hand damage, but beware it's 4th attack is a devastating AOE that will go off directly in front of it. Run away as you see the boss charging up this attack or suffer some serious damage as you are tossed to the ground.




Best of luck and I hope these tips help you get your bearings straight as you begin to venture into the world of Dark Souls. You can find the second part of this article by clicking on the link below. Try not to get yourself killed.

Contra Hard Part 2 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why You Should Not Install Skyrim On The Xbox 360.

          It appears that all Xbox 360 users who have installed Skyrim on their hard drive have been missing out (this includes myself). If you're like me and have gone through one too many Xbox console's due to excessive wear on the system's eye then you probably prefer to install your games. Bethesda is urging players not to do this due to a problem which is causing textures to lose quality. Bethesda has claimed the problem should be fixed with the next update for 360, but until then it would seem playing off the disc is your best bet.


          Here is the official statement from Bethesda:




          "Skyrim uses a lot of dynamic streaming systems, including textures. We’ve seen a few reports of certain textures temporarily scaling down on the Xbox 360, and not scaling back up. We have verified that this issue does not occur when playing off the disk and when the game is fully cached (not installed). Skyrim makes heavy use of the Xbox 360 caching system, and caches over the normal course of play while in menus or interiors. This cache can be wiped when other games are played or when the user manually removes it. We’re working on a solution in the next title update for those who have installed the game."


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Skyrim VS Oblivion (An Elder Scrolls Discussion and Skyrim Review)

         

"Wouldn't it suck if we go home, fire up Skyrim and realize it's just Oblivion all over again?" my friend asked. A valid question at the time. With only a few days until the release of the new Elder Scrolls installment, a great many things ran through my mind. In particular I was worried about all the hype that had been buzzing around. Oblivion was a great game, a more than great game, for it's time I would say almost perfect. I have put countless hours into Oblivion, playing it on and off religiously since its release on the 20th of March 2006. I was at a friends house just tonight and he was playing, I have put enough time into the game that the grunts of the dremora made me sick and the rattling of lock picks drove me insane. With all of this love for Oblivion I had been more than a little scared that Skyrim would not make the cut. That I would find myself once again walking through massive and confusing corridors, hacking away as fast as possible at my enemies as their health slowly deteriorated to nothing leading to my immanent victory.


This Generally makes me want to vomit.
                                                


As most of you well know, Bethesda went above and beyond the call of duty (hehe) with Skyrim. From the moment Skyrim was installed I was in love. The intro, far superior to any other Elder Scrolls intro, had me fired up straight from the get go. As you are slowly carted to your seemingly inescapable end, you get the first few glimpses of the world you are about to unleash total annihilation on. The beautifully snow capped terrain mixed with what I consider to be one of the best soundtracks of all time draw you in and you can feel the excitement rising with each click of the hooves. To say I was impressed would be understatement. Though the first few glimpses of the world had me drooling all over my lap, they were just as I said, a few glimpses. Nothing more than a taste of what was to come, and there was much, much, much, much, much more to come.

The reason I'm writing this article is because shortly after the release of Oblivion, I found it increasingly more common to come across one who would rave about how Morrowind is surely the superior game, and though Oblivion was "fun" it didn't touch the amazingness that is Morrowind. Somewhere in this foolish rant, Oblivion's lack of a levitation spell is almost always mentioned. Allow me to call the wambulance.



                             
Looking for the cave that is "west of the funny looking rock" is a lot easier said than done. If removing a broken spell is grounds for shitting on Oblivion then much can be said about the horrendous lack of direction that Morrowind had to offer. 

Now that Skyrim has been released and I have had the opportunity to put 120 hours into my first character I would like to take some time to reflect on Oblivion and address the changes that were implemented into Skyrim (for better or worse).

One of the first things you'll notice in Skyrim is its beautiful visuals. Bethesda did a commendable job on the games models and the considerable amount of detail that you will see in them, but what really grabs you is its magnificent landscape. Masterfully crafted mountains decorate the horizon with pointy tops poking out of elegantly curling wisps of mist. The sheer scale of things is enough to blow your mind. You will often find yourself in awe looking down the cliff of a mountain and seeing just how far up you really are, and realizing that if you so choose you could waltz on down to those trees that look more like tooth picks in the distance.


Oblivion
                                                                     


Skyrim
                                                                        


Some may think the setting to be a bit on the dreary side, I personally feel the snowy, rocky landscape of Skyrim is fitting to it's cruel and dark nature and wouldn't have it any other way. Looking back on Oblivion this is one of the area's the game was most lacking in. I feel that even Morrowind was a more interesting environment to explore. It didn't take long for the wide, open and empty plains of Cyrodil to get boring, in Oblivion you rarely stumble across an interesting landmark and I found it hard to care for one section of the map more than another. In Skyrim you will find gorgeous surroundings filled to the brim with over 300 locations to be discovered. Such a rocky landscape can be frustrating to navigate at times but in the end you will always stumble across something rewarding and unlike Oblivion don't be surprised if that special something you stumble across is found in a cave.
         
Much of Elder Scrolls mechanics have changed this time around, though I was worried that some of these changes would have a great and negative impact on the gameplay, I learned once again to place my trust in Bethesda and let them do their thing. After all they almost always get it right.
          
In Oblivion you picked 7 skills that would help you progress further in the game. After so many skill increases you would rest in a bed and be able to level up. In Skyrim Bethesda decided to do away with both of these, condensing the list of skills into a smaller more sensible list and eliminating the need for a bed when ready to level , allowing you to raise your level at your convenience through the menu. In addition, instead of raising your stats when you level you will pick either health, magicka, or stamina to put points into as well as receive a perk that you can place in one of the 10 massive perk tree's. Allowing you to customize your character accordingly meanwhile giving the player a sense of control over the character's build. Did I mention any skill increase will contribute to your level? These simple factors alone have turned the series into much more than an RPG. The idea of "classes" has been eliminated, leaving the player with complete freedom in how they choose to play the game and let their vision of their character come to life without punishment.


I think everyone can agree that one of Skyrim's most groundbreaking features is the new ability to dual wield. But this is far from the average dual wielding system you may find in any other RPG! Skryim takes it a step further with not only allowing you to have an axe in one hand and a sword in the other, but a restoration spell in your left and a sword in your right as well. Or perhaps you prefer a destruction spell in your right hand and a mace in your left. One might point out that in Oblivion you could have a spell handy as well as a weapon in hand and I suppose this would be a valid argument, but if you ask me, a new duel wielding system as intuitive as the one in Skyrim is well worth getting rid of the ability to wield a shield, a one handed weapon and a spell all at once.


Yet another interesting addition to the Elder Scrolls family is the new shout system. In Skyrims you play a powerful "Dragonborn". A decedent of dragons of sorts. Scattered through out the world are walls with rune words etched into them, finding these walls will give you a new power that can be used to aid you in battle. The game includes at least twenty of these shouts and to be honest, though I wasn't sure that was a whole lot at first, in the end I found myself amazed at the diversity of these spells. Some allowing you to "force push" your enemies away, maybe turn them into a block of ice or slow down time. Then of course there is the ever so popular, summon a dragon or calling a lightning storm to hurl deadly bolts of death at your surrounding enemies. Seeing that I usual found the racial powers to be next to useless I was concerned that these shouts would be a waste of time, but to my surprise even at high levels these shouts were still amusing and added a great amount of spice to combat.

In Skyrim there is almost never a lack of things to do, with quests to be found EVERYWHERE and dungeons littering Skyrim's rocky terrain it will certainly not be hard to push 100 hours onto a character without strain. Bethesda has also gotten rid of the need to repair weapons and armor and replaced them with a new skill, Blacksmithing. Blacksmithing is one of many fun crafting options in Skyrim and you will find yourself smelting ore, crafting armor and weapons as well as improving them to help your character level, and make godly sets of gear which will decimate your enemies in just a few swings. If I'm to be honest Oblivion's repair system didn't bother me all that much and even added a bit to the game. But with Skyrim's intricate blacksmithing I was more than happy to say goodbye to the repairing system and make way for a new one that has added much to the rich game play that is offered. I also need to give an honorable mention to the new daedric armor. It looks sick. Way sick. Skyrim's new enchanting system is also note worthy. Making enchantment an actual skill and adding some new effects to the table.


But lets get to the real point here. We all know what Skyrim is really about... Dragon's. As I'm sure you are well aware, dragon's play a huge role in Skyrim. Replacing the Oblivion gates in Elder Scrolls IV is not an easy task. Bethesda had to find a way to give the players something as exciting and epic as the Oblivion gates meanwhile ensuring that the new addition to the series would be less bothersome and hold more of a replay value. With the dragons of Skyrim, Bethesda has hit the nail on the head. The feeling that washed over me as I first witnessed a dragon attacking a helpless town, perched on a roof and breathing a terrifyingly massive pillar of flame on those below is hard to explain. I was blown away by the whole experience. The Dragons themselves are beautifully designed and look fearsome. You will often find them gracefully flying about before they swoop in for the kill, sometimes even attacking other NPC's. Dragon encounters are often and short enough that they do not become a serious bother after you've slain one for the 30th time. A big complaint I would have to make is the fact that I often found the dragon encounters to be fairly easy. My attacks on giants required much planning and because of this you lose that sense of fear when that epic music fires up and you see a giant winged creature swooping down at you from the sky.

A trip to the plains of Oblivion would have been great for nostalgic purpose and it would have been nice to see what they would have looked like this time around, but other than that I can't say the gates will be missed much.



If you've been a fan of Bethesda games for a while now then you well know that glitches are to be found in all of them. I myself almost embrace them, they add character to the games and sometimes a little comic relief. Skyrim also has its fare share, though I found that some of the glitches in Skyrim could be pretty annoying. On Xbox I realized an extremely annoying problem where the game would seem to randomly unassign my storage device. When resting the game will still tell you its auto saving but unfortunately the game is lying. I have lost near 10 hours due to this problem in one go. This was enough to infuriate me. A small tip for this glitch, I have seemed to notice that when going to the menu the game will be autosaving more frequently when this glitch has taken place. Alternatively hard saving often is a safe bet. I would  also like to mention what I would assume is a glitch in Marketh. At some point in the game I had done something that the Reach really did not like, making my bounty very high. the problem is when I enter town the guards will stop me and will not except my gold or take me to jail to serve my time. This has actually prevented me from getting an achievement and pissed me off severely. I feel it is also important to note that a lot of the weapon racks in the houses you can purchase do not work. Glitches aside the load screens are terrible as always and its getting to be that time when Bethesda really needs to be cutting back on them or find a way to significantly shorten load times.

As I mentioned, glitches are nothing new to the Elder Scrolls series but I feel some of these are greatly uncalled for and should have been fixed prior to the games release.

All in all if you've played Skyrim I am sure you are more than content with the game and have surely been playing it quite a bit since its release. If you have not picked up Skyrim I am amazed at the fact that you are actually taking the time to read this article instead of racing to gamestop to try it yourself!

Do it!

SCORE:
9.3 / 10