Posts Tagged ‘Videos’

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Asura: Cute But Definitely Not Stupid

September 12, 2011

Like many others keeping up with news on the AAA MMOs currently in development, I’ve had my eye on Guild Wars 2, and I’m so excited that it’s finally Asura week!

While I follow all the gaming news websites and relevant Twitter accounts, I also rely heavily on Hunter’s Insight blog to make sure I won’t miss a single thing on GW2. In fact, for as long as he’s used it, it was actually his blog banner that first sparked my interest in this peculiar race of floppy-eared, diminutive geniuses:

I can’t help it; I have a weakness for anything that adorable. And yes, I do realize I shouldn’t say that too loud, lest I want my throat crushed by a golem.

That’s why I really enjoyed reading today’s dev post by Matt Barrett on Asura design, though admittedly I find any commentary to do with concept art and design fascinating in general. It did remind me of a time when the Asura weren’t so cute, and instead looked like something you wouldn’t hesitate to roundhouse kick through the window if you woke up face-to-face with one in the middle of the night. I liked seeing the evolution of a design for an original race, because while tiny tinkering creatures like gnomes and goblins abound in the lore of other intellectual properties, it was really cool to witness a soup of ideas and concepts like “ambition”, “complexity”, and “underestimated” on paper gradually take shape and come to life in the form of an actual creature on a canvas.

I very much love developer posts like this, especially on subjects dealing with the “art” side of things (need more artist commentary videos!) and also because in my heart I’ve already chosen the Asura to be my race of choice. Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t usually find myself attracted to the small, punt-able races, but there’s just something about these little guys and I have to make an exception. And not just because they’re cute as hell. Though they really are.

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Video Day: SWTOR, Wildstar, TSW, GW2

August 19, 2011

Here’s a very cool Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer of “Huttball”, a PvP warzone that has been making waves for the last couple of days. But it’s also today’s Friday update if you haven’t been following GamesCom.

Several things to highlight that may pique the interest of even non-PvPers — being able to prove your worth in a warzone against members of your own faction which should make for some interesting dynamic, and playing in an arena that’s essentially one giant death trap where “name-calling and cheating are all encouraged”. You’re on Nar Shaddaa, after all.

I totally want to be called a Rotworm. Those Hutts have a strange sense of humor.

Also making its debut at GamesCom, the debut trailer for Wildstar which looks like a…wild ride. Still, maybe it’s the style of the graphics, the quirky humor, or the funky music — all of which I really liked from the video, don’t get me wrong…the thing is, it makes me not want this to be an MMO.

I can see myself enjoying the crap out of this even if it was a single-player RPG…or the next animated  film by Dreamworks. Hey, it’s not like this trailer would be out of place shown before a feature presentation at the cinema. Doing some poking around made me think Carbine can bring a lot of potential to this title, though. Enough to sign up for beta.

This trailer from a few days ago also took my breath away, albeit in a completely different way.

The Secret World now has a release window, which hopefully means more information in the coming months and more to talk about, because there’s a void in my life that can only be filled by a good horror-themed MMO. As always, packed with creepy and a healthy dose of tentacles, their CGI trailers give me the shivers.

Commence countdown to April 2012.

Wrapping up with this awesome Guild Wars 2 trailer, which Huntersinsight has already thoroughly commented on, so I encourage you to visit his site. All I have to add to the discourse is simply “GIMME MOAR ASURA!!!”

I’m normally prone to choose the more “feminine” and “elfish” races to play, but there’s something about being a cute little Asura hacking away at something fifty times her size that greatly appeals to me.

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SWTOR: Which Class Will You Choose?

August 9, 2011

I have a confession to make. While I’m curious as to what classes my fellow Star Wars: The Old Republic players will be rolling come launch, there is little other reason for this post but for me to shamelessly geek out over cool videos. Oh, and to instigate even more frustration in those who are unable to decide which class to play first at launch, of course. Muahaha–

Oh, wait. While we’re on a roll, I have another confession. The truth is, I think I’m a little torn myself now. I know, I know. After going on for months and months about playing a Bounty Hunter and chortling gleefully at my friends who couldn’t decide or were constantly switching class preferences, I can’t believe I am now in the same boat. Chalk it up to increasing restiveness as we inch closer and closer to “Holiday 2011”.

After last Friday’s release of the Jedi Consular Records, here’s all eight SWTOR class trailers in all their glory:

Trooper – The Hook: War is gritty, but it’s our duty. To fight for hope! Freedom! And the Republic! Not to mention doing it all while sounding like FemShep!

Bounty Hunter – The Hook: Nothing turns him on more than a death mark on your head. This used to be my clear first choice, and now I wonder was it really ever?

Smuggler – The Hook: I think that one Smuggler line “I wasn’t planning on living forever anyway, I’m in!” says it all.

Imperial Agent – The Hook: Playing with sexy toys, flying in sexy ships, making out with sexy aliens.

Sith Warrior – The Hook: Angry, violent, and bent on destruction. Sometimes it’s just fun to be bad.

Sith Inquisitor – The Hook: Evil and power-hungry, and yeesh, evidently with a megalomaniac complex. Yes, being bad can be fun, but sometimes being bad while crazy and deluded can be even more fun!

Jedi Knight – The Hook: If you’ve ever fantasized about being Luke Skywalker.

Jedi Consular – The Hook: Truth, calmness, and unity will lead us to justice and victory. I also want to say that the music in this trailer doesn’t even really sound all that Star War-sy but it’s amazing and probably my favorite out of all of the trailer themes.

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Always In Motion Is The Future

June 10, 2011

Unsurprisingly, with everything that happened this week, today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic update was a recap of their events and features at E3.

  • Of course, the “Return” Cinematic Intro was the centerpiece. Last year, the “Hope” trailer had everyone excited about the Trooper, while this year, everyone is talking about the Smuggler. Bah! And they say BioWare gives no love to the Republic.
  • A preview trailer of the features we have to look forward to in SWTOR. Quite honestly, I liked that video just much as — if not more — than I did “Return”. It lacks the bells and whistles of a cinematic, but it has something better — actual gameplay footage.
  • A trailer for the Operation of Eternity Vault, a raid on the planet of Belsavis. There’s still not enough endgame information for me to make a judgment, but I’m curious. To recapitulate my own thoughts, I used to be a lot more interested in MMO raiding, but not so much anymore since I discovered how quickly I lost interest in the grind and gear progression. Don’t get me wrong — I’ll raid in SWTOR. But to be perfectly honest, unless they do something very different, I can’t see myself being converted in the long run. Don’t worry about me though, there are always going to be other classes to play. My favorite part of an MMO has always been the leveling, the journey, the experience.
  • The Tatooine Developer Walkthrough. Sith Sorcerors and Sand People and Krayt Dragons, oh my! And I still can’t get over how damn huge that place is. My sense of exploration is tingling.
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SWTOR: Utinni!

June 8, 2011

I didn’t follow E3 as closely today, playing some catch up with my work instead (on account of all the time I puttered away yesterday, watching all the presentations). I did, however, catch a couple of Star Wars: The Old Republic live streams and features.

One of them was a live demo session hosted by Daniel Erickson from the show floor, answering fan questions and showcasing a Bounty Hunter questing on the planet of Tatooine. The video can be viewed here.

My interest was piqued immediately, for not only is the Bounty Hunter my class of choice, BioWare had also been teasing Tatooine for a couple weeks now and I was really looking forward to seeing it. Everything sort of fled my mind, however, the moment they revealed Blizz the little Jawa companion. Tally another point under the “Reasons to play a Bounty Hunter” column, please!

Oh em gee, will you just look at how cute and cuddly he is. Though, I almost choked to death on my Coke when someone actually asked if he was romance-able (he’s not, thank god). Sorry, but that’s just wrong. Sooo wrong.

They’ve done a wonderful job on the environment; despite the lowered graphic settings for the live stream, everything still looked very beautiful and Tatooine-y. Oh, and massive. Something tells me I’ll be extremely grateful for my speeder “mount” for traveling. Other highlights — a med probe ability that acts similarly to the Rift “soulwalk” when you die, unlimited inventory space for quest items, ability to switch out your companions on the fly for convenience while soloing or grouping, and many other quality-of-life features.

You can’t sell your companions, which was sort of obvious to me, but I still couldn’t help but be amused by Erickson’s answer of no slavery in the Old Republic — if only because it reminded me of how long I’ve personally pondered the ethics of selling, trading, and even sending your bridge officers through the mail like some kind of human chattel in Star Trek Online. Heh.

The other live stream I watched was the short interview on SWTOR raids (which they call “Operations”), as well as the trailer for the Eternity Vault encounter on Belsavis:

You know what it reminded me of? Oddly enough, Episode II. Yep, Attack of the Clones. Battle of Geonosis. The scene where Padme finally professes to Anakin that she truly…deeply…loves him (like, really?) before they and Obi-Wan are hauled off to become creature food, and Mace Windu and his 212-member Jedi strike team have to step in at the nick of time to rescue their asses. The scene where, outnumbered 50 to 1, the Jedi fight to the end in a charlie foxtrot of running feet, flying blaster bolts and flashing lightsabers, utter chaos exploding in every corner of the arena.

In short, Geonosis was a complete gong show and it was the first thing I thought of. Not that that’s a criticism of the above trailer, however. On the contrary. Large-scale battles like that should be messy, they should be chaotic. I thought some of the game footage they showed captured that vibe very well. That said, there were glimpses of what appeared to be boss fights, but also many encounters where the players split up to engage multiple enemies — the latter is what I hope we’ll get to see more of. In any case, I don’t know what else to make of SWTOR raids yet, with still so little to go on.

I did also manage to catch the Nintendo unveiling of the WiiU this afternoon. This year seems to be all about the possibilities for me. The possibility of me actually using a Wii product again for something else other than exercising and work out games if I got the touchscreen controller. The possibility I might actually be drawn into the world of handheld gaming by the Playstation Vita. The possibility I might finally have enough reasons to get a Kinect. All prospects, but nothing really jumped out at me.

My main interest still lies more in MMOs than in consoles or anything, though I’ve enjoyed every minute of the coverage over the last couple of days on games like Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and even Neverwinter.

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SWTOR: E3 Eye Candy

June 6, 2011

The new Star Wars: The Old Republic cinematic trailer, “Return”:

Excuse me for a sec, while I try real hard to hold my eyeballs in. They’re sort of bleeding out right now from watching all that awesomeness — but also from the flash and razzle dazzle. And here I thought the “Hope” trailer was over the top.

Still, Blur Studios has done it again, pulling off what is in my opinion the most detailed and elaborate out of all the SWTOR cinematic trailers. They gave attention to both the Empire and the Republic, filling in some of the history for both Satele and Malgus, while throwing in a healthy dose of space combat and the compulsory lightsaber duel sequences.

A few classes also got to relish their moments in the limelight, though some managed to look waaaaay cooler than others, *cough* Smuggler *cough*. I was a little skeptical about the overall look and feel of the Gunslinger at first, but no longer. He looked like he was born to rock the Star Wars universe and the Old Republic.

Also shown today at the EA presentation at E3, the “Choose” montage trailer:

Apparently, “Choose” was always going to be shown at the press conference, with “Return” being saved for a debut on swtor.com. Since the previous trailers were shown at E3, I think that led to a lot of confusion, despite the note at the end of the trailer pointing to the new cinematic at the official game site. Why Dr. Greg Zeschuk didn’t also say so in his opening speech was a missed opportunity in my opinion, or else they must think everyone is plugged into twitter or other social networks to know stuff these days.

There will be no release date announced during E3 2011, or any pre-order details. Not that I was expecting it, but I’m not denying that there was always that hope. I mean, picture it, how cool would it have been if the trailer had actually played out this way: “CHOOSE YOUR SIDE…JOIN YOUR ALLIES…THE BATTLE BEGINS”…and BOOM, release date? Sadly, now it’s more like, THE BATTLE BEGINS…on the official community forums!

If you can tune out all the rage, however, the good news is that Bioware is still aiming for a “second half of 2011” release. Good things come to those who wait; with luck, we’ll be playing this game within the next 6 months. While the SWTOR coverage at the EA conference may have been scarce (though I did get to drool all over Mass Effect 3), over the next few days there should be more BioWare panels and demos from the show floor, with more on features teased in last weekend’s E3 preview trailer:

I love cinematic trailers, but they never reflect what the finished game will look like. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed feasting upon all the actual gameplay footage shown in the video above.

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SWTOR: Troopers Bring The Big Guns

May 27, 2011

A new Trooper progression video from Star Wars: The Old Republic:

/Cry. I am so torn.

My plan: I’ll be playing Bounty Hunter for sure, but I think I’m also going to roll a Republic character to play with friends from the other faction, and this is also the character I plan on locking in to the dreaded “Spousal Leveling Contract”. My husband is old school and would prefer to play a Jedi on the “good” side anyway, so this works well. Either way, the Bounty Hunter will be the character I play on my own terms, but this also means I’ll be spending a good chunk of time on the Republic alt, and I want to make my class choice a good one.

Before this video, it was a three-way tie between the Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper. Now the Trooper, the class I thought I’d be least likely to play when I first heard about it, is actually edging out in front. It’s got a couple great things going for it, like if I ever get the urge to carry a huge ass gun…or knife some Sith in the face. Not to mention the female version will be voiced by the very talented Jennifer Hale.

Funny story, but I also have a soft spot for the Trooper armor, especially the sets in the above video that include the “butt flap” (my apologies, but I don’t know the technical name for that nifty piece of cloth hanging over his backside).

In most games, I usually turn on the “Hide Cloak” option because more often than not, parts of my character’s model or the graphics of my weapon strapped to my back will cut through, and in my opinion it just looks terrible. During my time at PAX East, however, I was practically in a trance watching the Troopers run in the Taral V demos, fixated with the way the backs of their heels kicked up the butt flap with every stride instead of showing through. Cloth actually moves like cloth should! Sorry…but it was pretty mesmerizing.

I think other people thought I was weird, being riveted by something so little when there’s so much more happening on screen like the environment and combat to be oohing and aahing over, but sometimes it’s the developer’s attention to little details like that which affect me the most.