Archive for the ‘Games & Fun’ Category

Crysis 2 (PC)

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Games & Fun

If Crysis was known for one thing, it was amazing graphics. That was with good reason, as the game didn’t offer much else. While it boasted a few interesting ideas, the game felt imbalanced, had bizarre difficulty spikes, and felt more like a tech demo than an actual game.

With Crysis 2, Crytek has scaled back its focus on pure visual overkill with a game that still looks thoroughly gorgeous while providing something a little meatier than surface-level eye candy. It may surprise you, but there are a lot more than pretty textures to talk about.

Crysis 2 swaps the lush jungle for the war-torn streets of New York, where a killer virus is destroying civilization and a gooey race of alien invaders known as the Ceph are wrecking everything in sight. As US Marine Alcatraz, your job is to step into a superpowered Nanosuit and wipe out not only the Ceph, but the CELL private army that wants to take you down. It is a story. You likely won’t remember it. Now let’s blow some stuff up.

Almost as soon as the player gets a gun, the improvements over the original Crysis are clear. The game’s four main superpowers — enhanced strength, extra armor, stealth and super speed — have been altered considerably, leading to a more intuitive and balanced experience. Strength and Speed are now passive abilities — they’ll automatically kick in if you charge melee attacks or start to sprint. Armor used to be the passive default option for the Suit, but is now an activated ability, along with stealth.

Unlike last time, taking advantage of the Nanosuit’s powers feels rewarding rather than punishing. Activing Stealth and Armor won’t drain your suit’s energy within milliseconds, allowing you enough time to navigate to an advantageous position or absorb heavy fire. Balancing your offensive power against your defensive ability is a careful game, and one that provides a consistent challenge without becoming overbearing.

Crysis 2 offers players a chance to actually feel like a badass, which is something Crysis sorely lacked. With the improvements made to stealth, you can engage in serious cat-and-mouse games with your opponents, stalking your prey and stealthily murdering them, or sneaking into position, switching to max armor and spraying a confused crowd with bullets.

Enemies will react to your shenanigans, crying out to allies if they see you switch abilities and homing in on your last known position. Their paranoid chatter of enemies and your ability to toy with them evokes memories of Batman: Arkham Asylum and I’d say the predatory stealth in Crysis 2 can be just as satisfying here as it was in Rocksteady’s classic action title. The only thing that lets the stealth down is the randomly spotty AI, which will see enemies get stuck on scenery or sometimes kill themselves. I saw a group of about four soldiers aim a grenade at a wall and stand right in place for the explosion to take them all out. I suppose you can pretend it’s the enemies freaking out and making mistakes if you don’t want to break the illusion.

Indeed, should you get over the energy of the action, you’ll realize that the the fundamentals of Crysis 2 aren’t quite as innovative as its gimmickry. While there are a range of weapons covering both realistic and futuristic firearms, most weapons are simply variants of the same assault rifle with attachments, and when you’re in a straight shootout with only one or two enemies, there’s a risk of feeling like you’re in any generic first-person-shooter. Most of the unique weapons aren’t all that useful in an actual fight, so you’ll likely want to stick to the dull assault and sniper rifle combo, which is a shame.

Every so often, the game’s overall structure can feel a little repetitive. Once you’ve performed one stealth kill, you’ve performed them all — almost literally, as there are only two animations for stealth kills, and both of them are rather mundane. Despite the wealth of tactical options, nearly all opportunities lead you down the same sneak/shoot/run/shoot/sneak/shoot path. While most of the game still manages to stay fun in spite of this, there are a handful of distinct moments when the game feels like it’s treading water.

Crytek successfully lifted the solid, enjoyable, often addictive combat of Call of Duty while positively enhancing the experience with the Nanosuit’s abilities. All players are able to dash at super speeds, cloak themselves, and increase their armor, giving everyone a chance to be an overpowered supersoldier. While this could easily have become a chaotic affair, the super abilities are balanced so well that it works. Stealthy players can be spotted by anybody paying close enough attention, while armored players will go down if killed with skill. You can’t just turn invisible and run around stabbing everyone.

As the game progresses, players can specialize and get access to more unique abilities — such as decoy devices that project holograms of players and draw enemy fire. The Nanosuit can be fine-tuned for players who prefer to remain strictly sneaky or would rather charge into battle with guns blazing. There’s plenty on offer, and players who get into this mode will find a lot to love.

Naturally, the gameplay is all wrapped up with some of the most gorgeous visuals you’ll see in a videogame. Even on the PC, Crysis 2 is an optical treat, especially when it comes to the setpieces, which are tastefully kept to a minimum but always kick you right in the eyes when needed. In the years since Crysis’ release, this sequel’s graphics are no longer the mindblowing revelation they once were, but you still won’t find many better looking titles on a console or PC. More surprising is the game’s soundtrack, which is damn fine and takes the boring “sweeping orchestral score” that infests most shooters and takes it in a few new directions. The game’s main theme is particularly atmospheric.

Crysis 2 is less ambitious than Crytek’s previous games, but it is also the most polished, refined and enjoyable title that the studio’s ever produced. With tighter gameplay, better level design, and an exquisite sense of flowing action, Crysis 2 is a damn great title that any shooter fan would do well to play at least once.

Word to the wise: if you don’t know how to do this, and don’t possess CloneDVD or something similar, this will be a huge waste of your time – but if you know what you are doing, this is the leak of the year (and has been tested.)

Gamespot: Link | Download : Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Crack

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Following the rich history of previous Lego character games (Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars), LucasArts is releasing the third installment of it’s Star Wars series to PC, XBox, PS3, and Wii. What we have for you today is the PC version – hopefully other formats will follow in the coming days.

Description:
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars will include all the characters from both seasons of the hugely popular animated television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as some fan-favorite characters from the beloved theatrical Star Wars Saga. The game will feature brand new battle modes, giving players unique, head-to-head combat and an upgraded level builder, allowing the creation of customized bases and in-game battlefields. Play either as a Jedi or Separatist with all-new character abilities, such as Squad command, Lightsaber slicing, Lightsaber jumps, long distance Jedi attacks and Grapple Tie-Ups, all within a new, easy-to-navigate hub. Great action with the light sense of humor that has always made these games so enjoyable.

Features:
–For the first time, players experience their favorite stories from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the Clone Wars TV series, retold in the amazing LEGO world that they know and love
–Using the Force in all new ways to control LEGO objects, players will solve puzzles, access new areas, pick up and throw enemies – even turning them into weapons
–Take control of battalions of clone troopers against the relentless droid army – building bases, deploying vehicles and calling in reinforcements to defeat opponents
–New clone weapons including rapid fire guns and rocket launchers, as well as all new massive capital ships
–Improved dynamic split screen for multiplayer co-op with jump in/jump out abilities for friends and families to play together

Gamespot: Link | Download (6.4G): Link

Braid (Mac OSX)

Posted: March 23, 2011 in Games & Fun

A huge XBox hit has made it’s way to the Mac OS. Braid is easily one of the most difficult, intelligent, fun games I have ever played and The Nutwork highly suggests it to all of our Mac readers. Here’s a bit about the game:

Tim is a man searching for a princess who “has been snatched by a horrible and evil monster.” His relationship with this princess is vague at best, and the only clear part of this relationship is that Tim has made some sort of mistake which he hopes to reconcile or, if possible, erase. As one progresses through the six worlds in Braid, storyline text at the beginning of each world provides further insight into Tim’s quest for the princess, and alludes to the overarching gameplay mechanic of each level. The themes evoked include forgiveness, desire, and frustration. The final level, in which everything but Tim moves in reverse, depicts the princess escaping from a knight, and working together with Tim to surpass obstacles and meet at her home. Tim is suddenly locked out of the house, and, as time progresses forward, reversing Tim’s actions, the events show the princess running from Tim, setting traps that he is able to evade, until she is rescued by the knight.

Following completion of the game, the player finds additional texts that expand the story. The ending of the game is purposely ambiguous, and has been subject to multiple interpretations. One theory, based on the inclusion of the famous quotation stated by Kenneth Bainbridge after the detonation of the first atomic bomb—“Now we are all sons of bitches”—is that the princess represents the atomic bomb and Tim is a scientist involved in its development. Some also refer to the name of the game as both reference to the hair braid of the princess Tim seeks as well as the intertwining of time, demonstrated by the various time mechanics explored in the game. Journalists have considered Braid’s plot to be interwoven with the game itself, much as the book Dictionary of the Khazars and the films Memento and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind interweave the narrative into the work’s construction. In this sense, some have considered the game to carry a simple credo, such as “You must look back to go forwards” as suggested by Eurogamer’s Dan Whitehead. Others have likened Braid to punk rock, designed (as explicitly stated by Blow) specifically as a statement against the status quo of the industry; it is considered to deconstruct traditional gameplay concepts, such as jumping on enemies or rescuing a princess from a castle as borrowed from Super Mario Bros., and rebuild them in the game to force the player to rethink current game design. Blow has stated that there is more than one interpretation of the story; he “would not be capable” of explaining the whole story of the game, and said that the central idea is “something big and subtle and resists being looked at directly.” Blow considered Braid to be “about the journey, not the destination”. He purposely designed the plot to not be fully revealed to the player unless they completed the game, seeing it as a way to provide “a longer-term challenge”.

Braid is played by solving physical puzzles in a standard platform game environment. The player controls the protagonist Tim as he runs, jumps, and climbs across the game’s levels. Tim jumps and stomps on enemies to defeat them, and can collect keys to unlock doors or operate levers to trigger platforms. A defining game element is the player’s unlimited ability to reverse time and “rewind” one’s actions, even after dying. The game is divided into six worlds, which are experienced sequentially and can be entered from different rooms of Tim’s house; the player can return to any world previously visited to attempt to solve puzzles they missed.

Each world has its own time-based game mechanic:

— 2. Time and Forgiveness plays as an ordinary platform game, except that the player may rewind time to undo their actions. The section includes several challenges that would be unplayable or unfair in an ordinary platform game, but become feasible when the rewind mechanic is available.

— 3. Time and Mystery introduces objects surrounded by a green glow that are unaffected by time manipulation; for example, switches will remain flipped even if time is rewound to before the action occurred. Rewinding can thus be used to change the synchronization between objects that can and cannot be rewound, the basis of many puzzles in this section. This theme is also used in later worlds to denote objects unaffected by the player’s time manipulation.

— 4. Time and Place links the passage of time to the player character’s location on the horizontal plane. As the player moves toward the right, time flows forward, while moving toward the left reverses the flow; standing still or moving vertically will pause time. The player’s location must be carefully managed in relation to enemies and objects.

— 5. Time and Decision involves a “shadow” of the player character appearing after the player rewinds time and performing the actions that the real player character rewound. Things coloured in violet can interact both with the main character and its shadow at the same time. Puzzles in this section revolve around using this mechanic to carry out multiple actions at once.

— 6. Hesitance provides the player with a magic ring which, when dropped, warps the flow of time around itself; the closer moving objects (including Tim) are to it, the slower time passes for them. The regular rewind control remains available.

— The final world is labeled simply as “1.” In this world, time flows in reverse. Rewinding time returns the flow of time to its normal state

Each stage contains puzzle pieces that must be collected to create jigsaw puzzles that tell the story, and to unlock the last stage. On completing the main game, a speedrun mode becomes available for select levels and the entire game. There are also eight stars hidden throughout the world of Braid that correspond to the stars in the constellation of Andromeda just outside the main character’s house.

I dare you to try to solve this game – you won’t – but you will lose yourself in intricate, thought-provoking gameplay in absolutely beautiful environments for hours on end.

Wiki: Here | Download (Full Game): Here

Plants vs. Zombies – Mac OS

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Games & Fun

Want to waste a few hours on your Mac? Try Plants vs. Zombies – a strategic defense game filled with hilarious animation and fast, addictive gameplay. This game has been available for the iPhone, PC, XBox and Playstation 3 for some time now, but this new version is available for the Mac today (see system requirements below).

Plants vs. Zombies sees players placing different types of plants and fungi, such as Potato mine, Peashooters, Cattail, Hypno-shroom, Cabbage-pult, Melon-pult, Plantern and many others, each with their own unique offensive or defensive capabilities, across the front garden, back garden, and roof of a house in order to stop a horde of zombies from devouring the brains of the residents. The playing field is divided into a number of horizontal tracks, and in general, although there are exceptions, a zombie will only move towards the player’s house along one track, and most plants can only attack or defend against zombies in the track they are planted in. In the game’s initial levels, if the zombie reaches the player’s house, a one-shot tool (a lawn mower or pool cleaner) can be used to completely wipe out zombies in that track, but the tool will not be restored until the next level. In later levels, players have to purchase upgrades so as to adapt their lawn-mower to new environments like pools or rooftops. Zombies, except in special cases, attempt to devour any plants in their way while heading towards the house.

The player starts with a limited number of seed packs and seed pack slots that they can use during most levels. New seed packs are gained by completing levels, while the number of slots can be increased through purchases with in-game money. At the start of a level, the player is shown the various types of zombies to expect and given the opportunity to select which seed packs to take into the level. In order to plant a seed, the player must have collected a specific amount of sunlight. Sunlight is generated by plants which provide sunlight at regular intervals, or is automatically generated regularly for the player during daytime levels. Seed packs also have a short time delay before the same seed can be planted again. Several plants are nocturnal, like mushrooms, having a lower sunlight cost and are ideal for nighttime levels, but will remain asleep during daytime levels unless awoken by a coffee bean. In the “backyard” levels that include a swimming pool, seeds must be planted a top lily pads on water spaces, while on the roof levels, all seeds must be planted in flower pots. The various plant abilities range from firing projectiles at zombies, turning zombies against each other, quickly exploding and wiping out an area of zombies, and slowing down zombies. Certain plants are highly effective against specific types of zombies, such as a “Magnet-shroom” that can remove metallic items from a zombie, such as helmets and ladders.

The zombies also come in a number of types that have different attributes, in particular, speed, damage tolerance, and abilities. As the player progresses in the game, the zombies will include those wearing makeshift armor, those that are able to jump or fly over plants, and even a dancing zombie that is able to summon other zombies from the ground. In each level, zombies will approach the house randomly except at special points where the player will be inundated with a “huge wave” of zombies; a meter on screen shows an approximate timeline for the level so the player can prepare for these waves.

The longer you play this game, the better you come to understand it. But pay heed – it is nearly impossible to stop the zombies in the higher levels of the game unless you are perfectly prepared and quicker than snot. I would venture to say that solving this game borders on the impossible, but I’ve provided a full-working version of this game through the link below for you to prove me wrong. If you don’t have a Mac (haha), the game has been updated for the XBox and PS3 through their respective software stores – and really isn’t very expensive to try. In fact, I think the Playstation Store has a free demo version to try out. Nonetheless, Plants vs. Zombies is one of the more simple, enjoyable ways to kill some time since Angry Birds, and is definitely worth the trouble. Enjoy.

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later.
Install notes: Copy the .app from .dmg to Applications folder & Enjoy!

Wiki: Link | Buy: Link

THE RUNDOWN:
Beer pong today is more magnificent then ever before. It is played with a lengthy table and begins with a minimun of ten plastic (preferably red) cups on each side, depending on how hammered you’d like to get. Usually you play on teams of two, and try to pick a partner who has consumed less alcohol than you have. This is not applicable to all Beer Pong players. Many players have known to be more talented once they have had a few too many drinks, others just plain suck whether they are sober or not.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Natural Light, Keystone, and other shit beers are the preferred fuel for Beer Pong, since they are cheap and tasteless. However, a half of cup of Natty Light that’s been sitting on the table for the last 20 minutes while some drunk fool tries in vain a thousand times to make his shot is pretty hard to choke down. Class your game up when hosting and provide ample amounts of Bud Light to use for play .

THE GAME ITSELF:
Once you have you picked your partner you can begin to play! The goal of the game is to get your ball into the other persons cup(s). Your opponent must then drink the contents of that cup. Once all cups are emptied on one side of the table, the game is over, with the team or persons with remaining cups deemed the winner. Once you win a game you must continue facing challengers until you lose. Or until you puke, faint, or other forms of pussing-out.

There are various rules necessary to play this game (see link below), but the main goal is to get everyone else playing as drunk as possible, as fast as possible. So get your cups, get a couple of ping pong balls, and get to it!

WASH YOUR BALLS!
When you’re at a party, or even hanging out in your loser friend’s garage, the floor isn’t spick and span clean. Since you have been drinking, and beer is highly involved in Beer Pong, you will NOT make every shot you take. This results in your precious balls rolling off the table and onto that nasty floor. Its imperitive to wash your balls! Not only will your opponted be highly pissed off at you for getting your dog’s ass hair in their beer/cup, your balls will become more aerodynamic after being cleaned. So keep an extra cup with water and dip your balls into them periodically, no one likes dirty balls in their beer.

Wiki: Beer Pong | Rules & Variations (pdf): Here | Play BeerPong Online Here