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Malaysian Gamer: The Age of DLCs

I'm sure you all have your personal opinions on DLC. It's the kind of gamer topic that you could host a radio call-in show on; you can be passionate about it, or totally ambivalent, and still have something to say. Malaysian Gamer's frags has posted a concise but thorough examination of the downloadable menace -- or the downloadable surprise blessing, depending on where you're coming from. Read the full article here!

In ye olde days, PC games would get released, with maybe 4 to 5 subsequent patches(or more depending on just how buggy a game is) and the development studio would call it quits there. From then on, the community takes over producing new content and mods for a game. Today, publishers look forward to extend the lifespan of a title by releasing Downloadable Content for their 'products'. Not quite expansion packs and it has become a trend now that they cost money. Why? Because it sells...


It is important to distinguish just what DLCs are. They are not expansion, which add a considerable amount of content and normally sells for about half the price of the full game(expansions are common for strategy and RPG games). DLCs add content to the game… that’s basically it. However, how much content is a point of contention for many consumers.

Read the full article.

About the author: frags prefers playing his first person shooters with background music from Pink Floyd. It's a religious and spiritual experience. Recommends others to try it out.

Malaysian Gamer: Dungeon Keeper retrospective

I'm very happy to share that frags from Malaysian Gamer has written something about a game near and dear to my heart: Dungeon Keeper by Bullfrog Productions. It's been attempted over and over since its release in the mid to late 90s, but it shouldn't be surprising that only its sequel managed to replicate its addictive and charmingly evil gameplay. But that's like, my opinion, man. Read on to see what frags thinks about this deliciously evil clasic game.

I was 17, and was in Form 4 when I installed this strategy game. I didn't know much about Peter Molyneux or Bullfrog Productions, never having had the experience of playing the Populous games or even Syndicate. Having played Dune II, Z, a bunch of other RTS's(including KKND) and Total Annihilation(it was too 'heavy' to run on my aging 486 DX2), I was beginning to have a strong fondness for strategy games. When I booted up Dungeon Keeper and watched the humourous intro, I knew I was in for something very special.

For the next few months, I was completed hooked to Dungeon Keeper, to the point of staying up late to play the next level..."Just one more level!" I said. Heck, I even managed to get my brother addicted to it. Dungeon Keeper was one of those strategy games that was so bloody addictive, you could play a level without noticing the time fly past you like a Delorean doing 88Mph! And I'm not over-exaggerating here!(okay maybe a little).

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About the author: frags prefers playing his first person shooters with background music from Pink Floyd. It's a religious and spiritual experience. Recommends others to try it out.

Malaysian Gamer: Trine 2 review

Our man at Malaysian Gamer, frags, has written up a review about the sequel to the most fairy-taleish game I've played in the last few years. I personally haven't played Trine 2 yet, as I'm still struggling with the first one, but I'm looking forward to good things if its predecessor is any indication. So is it good? Read the review to find out!

What does a Wizard, a Warrior, and a Thief... I'm sorry, I meant an entrepreneur, have in common? They were all in the indie physics puzzle game Trine released back in 2009. Trine was a physics based co-op platformer that allowed 2 player to play through the game, solving physics puzzles along the way while taking on some enemies(mostly trolls). Frozenbyte, the developers of Trine has released a sequel. For Trine 2, Frozenbyte expanded on it quite a bit. The game has more depth in terms of levelling your character and introduces new physics puzzles and 3 player co-op(at last!).

Trine 2 starts off much in the same way Trine did... the Wizard, the thief and the warrior pre occupied in their own little thing get brought together by the Trine. The world in in peril yet again and it is up to our 3 intrepid heroes to stop the impending doom. Something about killer plants, plants that have gone wild threatening the world and along the way, you discover a mysterious figure behind the plot. There really isn't much in the narrative that will hold your attention. It's typical fantasy stuff that is more child like(not the darker fantasy stuff)... more whimsical.

Continue reading the review

About the author: frags prefers playing his first person shooters with background music from Pink Floyd. It's a religious and spiritual experience. Recommends others to try it out.

Malaysian Gamer reviews Alan Wake

frags has gotten his weird on with a review of Alan Wake's PC version. Personally, I've always been a sucker for stories about writers. What's more, we haven't really had any notable game protagonists who are writers outside of the adventure game genre, so I've been really interested in this game. Is it actually worth playing, though? Read the full review here.

I've been a huge fan of Remedy Entertainment since the original release of Max Payne(2001). It was a third person action game that took the world by storm as it unleashed its furious gun fights that were influenced by the John Woo style of violence with beautiful cinematography. In other words... it was the introduction of bullet time and slow mo effects in games. When I read the news that Remedy were working on Alan Wake, I was delighted at first and later horrified that it was to be an XBOX360 exclusive with Microsoft as the publisher. After multiple delays and rumours that the project had been put on hold, Alan Wake finally arrived on the XBOX360 in 2010 and two years later, here it is... on the PC... the platform it was first showcased on.

With Alan Wake, Remedy explored and expanded the narrative elements a lot more(literally, as the plot is focused on a writer and his written work). They've clearly been influenced by films and TV series as each level or chunk of story is presented as a single episode. Each episode is preceded by a recap of the previous episode(previously on Alan Wake...) and ends with an outro with song and all that like a proper ending to a TV series. The episodes end in a cliff hanger with cinematography techniques clearly inspired by the works of film.

Continue reading the review

About the author: frags prefers playing his first person shooters with background music from Pink Floyd. It's a religious and spiritual experience. Recommends others to try it out.

Malaysian Gamer reviews Bastion

frags reviews Bastion in this edition. If you haven't tried Bastion yet, perhaps this is the piece that will nudge you off the fence. Also, what's wrong with you? Read the full review here.

It's been a long time comin'... but the kid never gave up... always trucking along...always eating away at the obstacles... The Bastion calls to him like the fireflies that are attracted by the light... but he ain't about to get burnt by it... oh no Sir! The Bastion beckons...

Bastion is the début offering from Supergiant Games, made up of former EALA staffers that worked on Command & Conquer Red Alert 3. And it's an absolute cracker! It's a 2D action game with an interesting narrative and a unique approach of presenting itself to you. As you probably already know, Bastion makes use of a dynamic narration gimmick, which while sounding rather gimmicky, works amazingly well.

Bastion is set in a child like fantasy world of Caelondia(it looks childish, but turns out to be a lot more darker than the game's aesthetics implies). A world that has been ravaged by an apocalyptic event called 'the calamity', it is now populated by wild beasts gone mad(such as those pesky squirts). The Bastion is the only remaining bastion(no pun intended) of civilisation and life.

Continue reading the review

About the author: frags prefers playing his first person shooters with background music from Pink Floyd. It's a religious and spiritual experience. Recommends others to try it out.

Malaysian Gamer - Are Retail Games Priced Unfairly In Malaysia?

In this article, frags raises the valid question of whether game pricing should be adjusted equitably towards the purchasing power of the people in any given region or country. I don't have any exact figures on how much damage the local retail industry is taking in this age of Steam, but perhaps it's time retailers started pricing games as entertainment, and not luxury products. On the insanity of the local pricing for Starcraft II, I have nothing good to say. Read the full article here.

Pricing has always been the eternal question in Malaysia and around our region. Well, at least for video games(PC or console games for that matter). It is one that has divided so many gamers into those that buy original and to those that continue to buy pirated game(or instead drop into the slew of free to play games available now). Although it can be argued that even pirates(you have to be fair here) could afford original game, just not that too often. This isn't the main reason for piracy, just one that is often quoted. At least in Malaysia.

And this is a common argument amongst fellow Malaysians, and one that I'm finding myself starting to fall into recently. Fact is, our purchasing power is just not equal to Singaporeans. Publisher often lump us Malaysians together with Singaporeans which often means we're getting local retail copies of games adjusted to the Singaporean cost of living. The Thais get further price drops, but we Malaysians get a minor discount, when you think about it, the cost of living and purchasing power parity of Malaysians with Singaporeans is just not the same or even fairly similar.

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Monday AAR - OMGeek and Malaysian Gamer in a Cooperative Partnership

Monday is the new Sunday.

That's right, everyone. After much deliberation and analysis, we have decided to move the AAR to Mondays. It's nice to start a fresh new week with some new updates about the community. Besides, the weekend is a time to stay up late, sleep in, and play some games. It's hard to write up an AAR while you're still busy playing. Am I right, guys?

Here's what's been happening so far.

  • The headline news is of course in big capital letters up there. We have formed a friendship with the respected gaming blog Malaysian Gamer! We will be posting updates about their reviews and articles here in the blog. Do check out their reviews, as they employ a pro and con system in the verdict without assigning a hard and fast number score. I like it, as in the end, the format encourages the reader to make his or her own informed decision about a title based on the facts and game experiences presented.
  • Of course, this also means that we can expect to see Malaysian Gamer's community in our servers as well. New friends and deeper, more satisfying teamplay experiences await!
  • Yesterday marked our first Skirmish Sunday, and it was very successful! We had an awesome time moving, capping, holding, fragging, and coordinating movements in our separate squads, all the while keeping the whole team updated over voice. Every Sunday from now on, we will be holding organized games with proper squad designations and squad-specific voice chat via Mumble. Please visit the thread if you're interested. Whatever your playstyle and specialty, there's a place in the team for you!
  • I've begun playing The Book of Unwritten Tales, and I'm loving it so far. It's a throwback to a happy time for me--a new world to explore in every game, with new characters to meet, and new puzzles to randomly click on until I get tired, go to sleep, and then try again the next day. The localization struck me as particularly good, as the humor and voice acting are highly entertaining. We'll have more on the game when our review comes out, so stay tuned!

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