Heroes of Might and Magic 6I pre-ordered Heroes of Might and Magic 6 and thus got into the early play tests of it. For those of you unaware of the Heroes series, time for an introduction. The Heroes of Might and Magic series began as a game called King's bounty, which eventually became an offshoot of the Might and Magic series, a long running RPG series for the PC. It's a turn based strategy rpg combined with city building and exploration. You hire heroes, who carry stacks of troops. Every stack of troops are comprised of the same unit. Every unit has a defense stat, attack stat, health and damage. Every unit in a stack adds their respective powers together, and the hero controlling the army adds their stats to the units as well. Rounds are taken in order of speeds of the units, and you control the units one at a time, moving them across a board to attack the enemy units. The hero has the ability to cast one spell per turn, or attack if your playing some of the later versions of the series (4 had the hero as an actual unit in the battle, 4 did not do so well). You win a battle by destroying all of the enemies stacks of units. You can acquire more units at cities you own, and some can be found in neutral locations. The cities build units by constructing buildings, which you build by gathering minerals on the map, including standalone resources and mines that produce a certain amount of resources every round. your hero can be outfitted with artifacts that increase their powers, give them special abilities, and you can also train them in new skills, which will let them move further in a round, learn new spells or even raise the dead from a fight to fight for your side in the next battle.
So with that bit of background info in place, what does 6 bring to the table? First off, they've cut down the number of resources. It used to be lumber, stone, sulfur, mercury, crystals, gems and gold. Now it's just gold, lumber, stone, and crystals. Heroes now also have a destiny path system which gives them specials powers, also some artifacts level with you now. So the longer you have them, the more powerful they become. Combat has changed a bit as well. Previously you used to be able to move and attack, so for example you could move your archers out of range and have them fight back. Now once you move them, your turn ends for them. Also not sure if it's the games intent, but enemies always seem to go first. I've finished the first mission and am working on the second mission right now, so there may be more to combat then that. Cities have changed a bit too, they seem to be more flexible in what you can and cannot build, plus you can convert towns from one type to another. Also they introduce the concepts of forts. Normally nothing would prevent an enemy from taking a resource mine from you, but now if you have a fort, they cannot claim a mine unless they take the fort as well. Once the fort is taken, every mine in that area falls under neutral control and can be claimed by other players. The player skills have changed too. You seem to have more activated powers and buffs, but it may also be the hero I've been given for the tutorial. Only time will tell, but it does seem like the game is trying to improve on the previous versions and bring in some new players, so this game is shaping up to be something to look forward too.
Shadows of the Damned
So, have you ever played No more Heroes, or No More Heroes 2? Ok, consider those two games to be the litmus test of this one. If you enjoyed them, their weird brand of humor and nonsense story, then you will enjoy this game. It's a survival horror game built on the premise of you going to hell to save your girlfriend, who has been captured by the big demon Flemith. A big skeleton like creature in an army jacket and wielding a bazooka. It differs from most survival horrors in that your guided along and combat is a bit more interesting then other games. You wield a variety of guns, so far a standard gun, a grenade launcher and a machine gun, plus a flaming torch, which all happens to be Johnson, a floating ex-demon skull thing that travels with you. Yes, that's your weapon, advisor, and source of information. Also, goats are the sources of light in the underworld, doors eat brains, eyes and strawberries(actually demon fruits, their made up of ground up tongues) and one of the bosses pisses darkness. Yes, a boss, a giant goat demon, pisses darkness to fight you. That right there about sums up this game and it's general premise. It's fun, the controls are decent, story is entertaining, and overall it's worth a shot if you want a somewhat funny, mature game.
What's that you say? Hellgate London? Did it not die years ago due to lack of money and the devs/owners not owning up to their promises of exclusive content to paying players(of which I am going to talk about at a later date). Well your wrong, it's back from the dead! And like any zombie and/or dead thing, it should have stayed buried and long forgotten. Now, hellgate was not a bad game. It was Diablo with a decent plot around it, and it had some promise. It was fun for a few hours here and there to kill some time with. So when I heard it was coming back, I was intrigued. So I finally got to give it a shot last night.
I've had more fun ramming nails into my forehead and then cleansing the wounds with turpentine. Let's start off with what has changed.
- The graphics have gotten worse. This is not to mean the graphics are dated or anything, they literally got worse. It's almost like they wanted to put in their own graphics(which they did, they re-imaged some of the main characters to make them more...something. It did not work too well.)
- Maybe it was my sound card, but I could not hear some of the most common quotes from the game, like for the living etc.
- The tutorial will lock your keyboard until you press the buttons it's telling you too. This is annoying, especially when a monster might be chewing on your face and the game is yelling at you to press I to bring up your inventory.
- They introduced micro transactions to the game, so by buying their special currency, you can biy special in game items, like more acts. Yup, you need to buy Act 3.
- From reading their facebook page and such, it seems like the servers come up and down so often they are earning frequent flyer miles from all the traveling they are doing.