Friday, December 26, 2014

Taikodom (Part One) be honest, back when I was still covering on Defiance, I had already heard about ArcheAge and was itching to do a feature on it next.

However, as I deemed that it would be "too much" to do two games by Trion Worlds back to back (and having just done RIFT a couple of months earlier too), my original intention was to push it back just a little and wait until I was finished with F.E.A.R. Online.

At least that was my plan initially...

But as Fate would have it otherwise, a sudden tiny glitch in the Glyph launcher popped up (most probably due to the introduction of ArcheAge's game client into the launcher I suspect) and I had extreme difficulty in trying to download the game client.

It just simply refused to resume...and downloading the entire 8+ gigs, in one session, was out of the question for me.

So without a choice, I had to settle for a last minute interim...a make up for some time whilst I find another way to get my hands on the ArcheAge's game client. (After much trouble, I did eventually get the client via a torrent provided by another fellow gamer, but that's another story for another time.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I needed some interim filler...something small in size that I could download immediately and start on "information collection" asap.
That's when Taikodom, a game I had used to play before (in 2009), came up. And as a result, that will be what I'm gonna feature...for now.

The Download
Taikodom - Game Download
Now if you just follow the link given above to download the game's client, everything should be pretty simple to manage (and its only about 1.5 gigs in filesize).

However, as you would have noticed by now, the sad thing is that the game no longer has an English version.

As such, if you have a desire to continue forth with the game, you WILL have to resort to using the Google Translate eventually (which is what I did).
I did had a go at downloading an alternate version, by another publisher GamersFirst, which is supposed to be in English. But sadly, it doesn't seem to be in service any longer and I was pretty much just stuck at the login.

Character Creation
Since the entire gameplay revolves totally about flying around in your ship, the character creation section is very much simplified and there's hardly anything customizable to talk about.
Taikodom - Character Creation Faction
There's a faction selection part whereby you would have to choose between being either a "Consortium" or a "Renegade".

This, however, is mostly just for PVPing purposes. There is not much storyline involved and there's hardly a difference between choosing one or the other, except for your starting locations.
Taikodom - Character Creation Ship Selection
Next comes your ship selection section.

In this part, there's three kinds of ships for you to choose, Assault (Assalto), Vanguard (Vanguarda) and Suppressor (Supressor). The Assault's your typical "damage dealer", the Vanguard's your "tank" while the Suppressor plays the role of "support".

Apart from being a deciding factor of your role in a battle, it also affects the kinds of "sub-routines" (kindda like "skill trees" in typical fantasy MMOs) that you will get as well as locks in and restricts the type of ship that you'll be able to pilot when within the game.
Taikodom - Character Creation Name And Gender
The last section of character creation just deals with the entering of your character's name and its gender, female (feminino) or male (masculino).

Next: Taikodom (Part Two)

Friday, December 19, 2014

FEAR Online (Part Three)

Gameplay (Continued)
The rest of the gameplay is just your run-of-the-mill FPS concepts (like Ghost Recon Online for instance).
FEAR Online - Store WeaponsFEAR Online - Store Gear
There's your familiar "grind/progression" routine of upgrading your avatar's damage capabilities or gaining of additional benefits/bonuses via the purchasing of a variety of weapons and gears at the in-game "Store".
Naturally, of course, these require you to level up your rank (before you can buy and use them) as well as needs in-game cash that you've earned from completing both PVE and/or PVP matches.
FEAR Online - Store Characters
And there's your offering to play as different persons...through the buying of different character looks.
FEAR Online - Psionic AbilitiesFEAR Online - Buying Psionic Ability
But the primary importance of acquiring these different characters isn't so much as for their looks (okay, okay...maybe it is...maybe...), but rather the amount of psionic ability slots that they possess.
Some of them have only one slot, while others can have up to three of these "open".
To these, you can equip various sorts of psionic abilities that you've purchased...thereby allowing your character to gain those benefits whilst your playing as them within the games.

But do note which particular game modes that your bringing these abilities into. They might not be enabled or active in all of the game modes. You will have to read the ability's description to find out.
FEAR Online - Crafting Grenade BowFEAR Online - Crafting N3
Other than that...there isn't much left to the game except for a "rudimentary" crafting feature whereby the players grind through and complete PVP/PVE missions for the chance to loot precious, rare ingredients which are needed for when they craft certain special weapons.

And from what I can tell, it should be safe to assume that the smaller the quantity of that "ingredient" which is needed to make that weapon, the "harder" it is to obtain it (through regular free-to-play means).
If I'm not wrong, there should likely be an easier method of obtaining these "ingredients" as well...most probably via the usage of the in-game "item mall" and "Aeria Points".
Anyway, all in all, if your playing it as just another FPS online game that you can while away your free time at, then by all give FEAR Online a try. However, if your out chasing for the same kind of suspense and psychological thrill that you've had in the F.E.A.R. series of games, then your looking at the wrong online game, my friend.

Previous: FEAR Online (Part Two)

Friday, December 12, 2014

FEAR Online (Part Two)

FEAR Online - Game Lobby
The above shows the FEAR Online game lobby. On the left side are your usual FPS game modes while on the right...we have your Co-Op scenarios.
FEAR Online - Death MatchFEAR Online - Blood Lust
And since we're talking about FPS game modes here, I doubt it will require much explanation actually.

There's your typical two teams, X-a-side (X can be any number like 4, 6 or 8), the team to reach the designated number of kills first wins kind (death match)...there's your bomb defusals (demolition) and there's your knife-only matches (knife fight).

The only more peculiar one would be "Blood Lust", in which the players are allowed to transform into a hideous monster for a limited time duration (but ultimately still follows the regular death match rules).

During this transformation, although the player will have overwhelming damage capabilities and HP, its attacks will be reduced to a very short range (almost melee distance).
FEAR Online - Co-Op Tunnel
As for the co-ops, these are just PVE missions where you can play with up to 3 others to fight NPC mobs, clear the given objectives and make your way to the end of the scenario.

However, you must take note that these missions aren't really short and will take some time to finish (depending on the co-op). Furthermore, since you WILL need to complete them in one sitting, do make sure you have ample time on your hands or you will be forced to quit suddenly in the midst of one.
FEAR Online - Co-Op Check Point
And as far as I know, for any one co-op, the entire mission can be roughly broken down into multiple "sections"...each with its own checkpoints.
FEAR Online - Co-Op Player DeadFEAR Online - Co-Op Check Point 01
In between each "section", the players only have "one" life. Dying whilst in this section, will leave the player "hanging" in "Spectator Mode" for the rest of the section.

However, if even any one of your teammates makes it to the check point (for that section), all of those whom have died previously will immediately revive and continue on with the co-op. So don't quit even if your dead.
FEAR Online - Co-Op Player Revive
Alternatively, if you could make it to the "downed" player just in time (before he's truly dead), you can still revive the player there and then (instead of having to wait until the check point).
From what I can tell, there's no limit to the number of times that you can revive a person in this way. However, I have found it to be pretty difficult when trying to get a clear access to revive the person...especially when there's a crowd of monsters surrounding him (or you for that matter). So do take note of that.
But in such cases, the rescuer will have to do an on-the-spot decision I guess...whether its safe to try and save the player OR will it be more feasible to head for the check point (prioritize survival). a tough thing to make a call for. Sometimes, you would just have to take the risk and revive the person (instead of running away) so that you will have enough firepower to reach the end.
FEAR Online - Co-Op Reward
If you and/or your team manages to survive till the end (complete the scenario), you will each get a chance to choose an "item box" (that contains some random reward), some EXP as well as GP (in-game currency).

But there's a couple of things to note...

Though fun (at least initially), these co-ops are pretty much "fixed" and "linear". They do not offer much replay value when you've completed them once. You will mostly be grinding them just for the chance to loot some rare item rewards...which might be useful in the "crafting" of your own weapons.

However, for those hardcore "junkies" out there (looking for a challenge), these co-ops do come in varying difficulty levels.
FEAR Online - Difficulty Rotation
Each day or two, the difficulty level of the co-ops will rotate and change between 1-star to 3-stars. At 1-star level, the NPC mobs that you encounter are pretty mild and tame. But at 3-stars though, they WILL become your worst nightmare...practically at "hacking/cheating" level. But naturally, of course, the corresponding rewards that you might get will be better too.
FEAR Online - Operation PlansFEAR Online - Buying Operation Plans
Other than that, you will just need to remember that "Operation Plans" are required in order to enter and participate in these co-ops.

Upon the successful completion of a co-op, one of these operation plans will be consumed. If the co-op's a failure, none of them will be used though.
"Operation Plans" will automatically recharge itself once every 8 hours...and up to a maximum of 3 plans can be stored at any one time.

For extra plans, apart from waiting every 8 hours, you will have to resort to buying them from the "item mall" using "Aeria Points" (obtainable only by paying real life cash).

Previous: FEAR Online (Part One)Next: FEAR Online (Part Three)

Friday, December 5, 2014

FEAR Online (Part One)

FEAR Online
I believe it was right about a year ago in 2013, that I discovered this next game that I'm gonna be talking about called "F.E.A.R. Online". And because this game was related to the F.E.A.R. series of video games, which was so successful, I was pretty much hyped and excited to look into what this online version would offer.

However, because it was still closed to the general public back then, I had to put it on the back burner instead...but had been checking back to see when it would start its open beta (which it did in October 2014).

Anyway, it wasn't until I was in the midst of covering Defiance still, that I found out about the open beta and so proceeded to downloading (and trying out) the game.

But long story short, it wasn't quite as exciting as I had hoped it would be.

In my mind, or what my imagination made it out to be, I had hoped that it would stick back and follow the original genre it had. One of paranormal, psychological and horror kind of feel...much like Silent Hill or the that would keep your adrenaline pumped up. least for the multiplayer Co-Op parts (which should presumably follow the storyline).
Certainly, I shouldn't be the only one to think and feel that it would be nice if we could be scared by the game together with another couple of friends right?
But as far as that "thought" was concerned, only a sliver of it was found in the tutorial section of the game. The look and feel that I had expected was found there and it had my adrenaline going for a tad bit whilst I was in there...never quite knowing what to expect.
FEAR Online - Tutorial Scene
Especially this part where you had to pass through the hospital's morgue. You just know that something's BOUND to happen in there and yet you must go through it in order to pass to the next area.

And just when you thought that only a couple of those chambers would open to scare you...WHAM!...all of them did instead. (Though that was pretty much just about it. Nothing ever did came out. Hahahaha.)

However, sad to say, the rest of the game was just your usual online FPS gimmick. Stuff that you could find in just about any other games of the same kind, Death Match, Demolition, Knife Fights, etc...

Anyway, let's take a closer look at the game, shall we?

The Download
FEAR Online - Client DownloadFEAR Online - Patch Download
The downloading of the game client is unexpectedly smooth I should say. All you need is to install "Aeria Ignite" (the publisher's "download manager") and it will help u to manage everything else.

With it, you can temporarily pause your downloads to regain your bandwidth whilst loading articles and surfing the web. Or you can close it, shutdown your PC and resume it at a more appropriate time. Its simply "beautiful" for us users with slow internet connections.

But a couple of minor hiccups that I should mention is that...although the game client is resume-able, the patching isn't. For the patching part, you WILL have to finish it through one sitting or risk having to start all over again, I'm afraid.

What's more, each time you start up the client loader to try and play the game (despite having finished updating), you will still have to wait for a couple of minutes in order for it (the client loader) to do some forced "file checking" procedure (probably some uncaught bug in the program I reckon).

Its only after this checking is done, will you be able to enter the game and start playing.
As of this post still, the FEAR Online game folder is currently sitting in my HDD at about 7.40 GB in filesize.

Next: FEAR Online (Part Two)