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March 13, 2014

Will ZeniMax Be Ready for the ESO Release Date? Will ZeniMax Be Ready for the ESO Release Date?
By Alea Wilson
The ESO release date is just over a month away. Gamers across the world are eagerly awaiting their chance to get in on the latest chapter in the Elder Scrolls saga, game guides are being readied, beta players are dropping leaks, and the anticipation is building. Debates rage daily between longtime fans of TES games about whether ESO will be the series crowning glory, or a flop best forgotten quickly. But there is a different question that most people seem to be trying to avoid--will the game even be ready.
So far, ESO hasn't been plagued the many delays and postponement common to MMO releases. Wisely, ZeniMax kept their mouths shut about the ESO release date until they were sure they could make it, and haven't needed to push it back once, much less the half dozen times some games have seen. But just because they're going to release on the day doesn't mean they'll be ready. In fact, any number of things could be going on behind the scenes that will turn the release date into a disaster. Here are a few things we're afraid of seeing:
Server crashes: To be fair, server crashes on the release day are almost traditional. If the servers aren't overloaded at least once with every single player who can get their grubby mitts on the game trying to get on at once, then the ZeniMax marketing team hasn't done their jobs. But after the first day or so, the system should smooth out, players will establish their own patterns of play, and everything should be golden. As long as there are enough servers, the servers are properly maintained, and someone is generally keeping an eye on things. If ZeniMax isn't prepared, we may see rolling crashes and constant server down time for weeks, or even months, after the release.
Beta bugs: The whole point of a beta game is to test the game out and make sure that as many problems as possible are found and identified before the mainstream release. After all, no one wants to pay $60 for a game that freezes up or crashes every 30 minutes... which, unfortunately, is exactly what some beta testers have said they are STILL experiencing. ZeniMax has just over a month to get a grip on those bugs and get the game up to release quality. If they can't, it's a toss-up whether they'd be better off releasing the game anyway, and weathering the storm of disgust from players, or postponing the release, and dealing with the backlash of disappointment from players at the last minute schedule change.
Poorly planned updates: Like it or not, regular updates are a part of MMOs, and there's already been an announcement that one of the first updates after the release will include the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood factions. But ZeniMax really needs to have at least the first few updates already finished and ready to go by the time the release date rolls around, so they have time to make any needed tweaks and edits. A poorly planned or poorly balanced update can ruin a game just as easily as any beta screw up, after all.
Zenimax has announced the ESO release date along with their future plans for the beta. Make sure your ready for The Elder Scrolls Online by checking out our ESO Class Guides.
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Posted on 11:16 PM by Hotshotracer

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February 26, 2014

Game Dev Tycoon Review Game Dev Tycoon Review
By Stephen Mcfarland
Game Dev Tycoon is the first video game developed by Greenheart Studios, and shows great promise. You take on the role of a game developer, reliving the early years of the gaming industry in your garage, upgrade to offices and beyond, and live in the modern day of gaming, and even beyond!
When you begin, you start off in a garage, and as a programmer, you will begin creating your first games during the early years of the gaming revolution. When you begin you create your company name, and name your avatar and choose basics customization options. Once you start, you can begin creating your first game. You will start off with 4 random game topics, and once you select your topic you will pick a genre (action, simulation, strategy, etc). Once you are happy with your selection, and select a console/computer to put it on, you will start the development process. Development of a game has 3 stages, with 3 sliders for each stage (for a total of 9). These stages will have options such as engine, graphics, level design, artificial intelligence, etc. Depending on the game topic and genre, certain combinations will value greater focus on certain subjects than others. For instance, Action games favor engine, graphics, and artificial intelligence for better review scores. Once you are done with your game the last phase is removing bugs from your game, and having a large number of bugs will hurt your score. When you are content with the bug removal and content to publish your game, you will soon receive a review score from 4 reviewers. Depending on how well made the game is, will ultimate affect your profits and sales.
Once done with the game you can generate a report, which will give you valuable information about the topic, genre, and how the system you select responds to the topic and genre. You will generate research points, which you can research new technologies and new topics, such as custom engines and so forth. You can also use research points to train yourself and your employees to better their technology, design, speed, and research skills. With high enough skill points in the fields, you can specialize them in certain fields, such as graphics, or artificial intelligence.
As you unlock new technologies, you can create your own custom game engine to better your games. As you upgrade to higher offices you can employ more workers, gain access to larger games, even access to research and development labs, and hardware labs to produce your very own gaming consoles! The game features a 35 year campaign which will last you several hours, and allows you to continue playing the current game after the game is over if you wish.
The tutorials provided help teach you enough of the game to help develop your games, but I feel a little more explanation could of been added, or additional tool-tips, but these are just minor suggestions to help make the game a bit better in my own opinion. Overall, I find the game enjoyable and if you are into the tycoon or business sim genre of games, I believe you will find a good deal of enjoyment from the game. For a first game from Greenheart games, I enjoy it and will look forward to future titles.
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Posted on 9:46 PM by Penwriter

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Wartune Game Review Wartune Game Review
By Damian Seeto
Wartune is a free to play fantasy based RPG game that you can easily play online. Not only is it a 2D browser based RPG video game, but there are also elements that borrow features from the RTS genre as well. Whether you are a fan of both genres, Wartune might have something here that will interest you.
In similar fashion to many other browser based RPG video games, you will start off creating your own character that you will want to use for the duration of the entire video game. There are only three basic classes to choose from and they include a "Mage", "Knight" or "Archer". Sadly you will be unable to alter the appearance for your character so you are pretty much stuck with the generic designs that the developer has chosen for you. Still, the character design in this game is impressive overall and some gamers won't be too fussed about this.
I must say that the game takes a bit of time to load every time you boot the game up for the first time. I'm not sure if this will happen with everyone, but the game needs to be patched so be prepared to wait patiently before you begin the game. Thankfully, you can play a neat mini-game to pass the time while the game loads. This is a first for a free to play video game and a nice touch in my opinion, although the mini-game doesn't appear when long loading times occur when you actually start the game itself.
Once the game finally starts, your character enters a forest-like area called "Enna Pass". The first thing you have to do is approach a menacing looking Mountain Bear and try to kill it. This serves as the game's first battle sequence as it teaches you the basics of the game's combat mechanics.
Combat in Wartune is the traditional turn based system used in lots of other RPG video games. All you have to do is click on an attack or skill that you want to execute at the bottom of the screen and your character will automatically respond in kind. The combat in this game is fast paced and the animation is impressive to say the least. This isn't the kind of turn based RPG game where the characters are slow to react your button commands.
As you progress, there will be more members that will join you in your party that can aid you in battle. One of the more helpful members that tag along early on in the game is a young girl that heals you in the background. If you take a lot of damage during battle, she will ensure your life bar is full enough for you to survive the duration of the battle.
This helpful lady is actually a character that you need to save from danger at the very beginning of the game as she is being attacked by a group of angry bears. Although some people might say saving a "damsel in distress" is one of the most clich�d stories in the history of mankind, but I personally didn't mind the storytelling aspects that this game provided. It's better than just approaching a random non playable character on the street and accepting quests like that as most other games do.
As previously mentioned, Wartune is not only an RPG video game but it also includes RTS elements in there as well. Once you save the young girl, you will travel back to her city and then the city building aspects of the game are introduced. Much like in RTS video games, you will have to collect resources for your city and construct buildings. The integration between the RPG and RTS elements work really well. The loot you receive from killing monsters on the ground level can be used to upgrade the buildings in your city and so forth. It's a neat feature that is not seen in any other game I've played recently.
Graphically, Wartune looks amazing for a browser based video game. The character models look highly detailed as does the environments. This does come at a price though because as I previously mentioned, the loading times are pretty lengthy and frequent too. The loading times aren't unbearably long like they are in other video games, although they will annoy you.
Overall, the presentation in Wartune is commendable with a great soundtrack to listen to and sound effects throughout. It's also worth mentioning that the game's interface is nice and clean and does not appear cluttered with too many icons and buttons like in other browser based video games.
Wartune is a highly enjoyable and playable free to play RPG video game that features great high quality graphics and fast paced gameplay. It also offers gamers a more unique experience compared with other RPG video games because of the city building features that are from the RTS genre. Despite the game's annoying loading times, Wartune is one game all RPG fans shouldn't miss out on.
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Posted on 5:27 AM by Tona Sam

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