Game Review – Meridian: New World (Early Access)

Base Assault

Meridian: New World is an indie RTS game capable of making you stare in disbelief when you realize it’s been made on the most part… by one man.

The game looks beautiful, very polished and plays great. There’s base building, an array of units to vanquish your enemy and a pretty compelling campaign even if it’s still in progress. New missions however are released frequently (missions 4 and 5 released as I was reviewing), and they not only expand the story but give the player new tactics with which to play. It’s content like this that makes me want to check out future updates, I genuinely want to see what the developer will throw at me next.

So first let’s take a look at the campaign. You take on the role of commander Daniel Hanson leading the first expedition to a new planet named Merdian. What you encounter there isn’t entirely clear but it soon becomes obvious you’re not alone. Not only do you detect a distress signal from the presumed uninhabited planet, but there are troops and structures on the ground. Your crew might not be comprised of ‘your’ crew and things are pretty much going to hell. Not exactly the idea expedition but it makes for one hell of a game.

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Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby – Mega Evolution Editions?


Alpha Omega Trans

Nintendo has announced the next pair of Pokemon games for release on the 3DS, ‘Alpha Sapphire’ and ‘Omega Ruby’. Ruby and Sapphire were part of the third generation of Pokemon games (alongside Emerald), and gave players a chance to explore the Hoenn region and encounter a wide range of new Pokemon. It’s likely that the remakes will be based on the same engine as Pokemon X and Y, providing us with greatly updated visuals over the originals as well as direct connectivity with X, Y and Pokemon Bank.

Mega BlazikenSomething that came to mind when reading about Sapphire and Ruby’s remakes was that one of the Ruby/Sapphire starters (Torchic), was released previously as part of a promotion for early adopters of Pokemon X and Y. This Torchic held a special item known as Blazikenite, a Mega Stone that allowed Torchic’s evolution Blaziken to temporarily evolve further during battles and become Mega Blaziken. Seeings as one of the three starters already has a Mega Stone I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect both Mudkip and Treecko to have their own Mega Stones at some point during Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. So keep an eye out for Sceptileite and Swampertite!

I was disappointed that Game Freak/Nintendo didn’t follow up Pokemon X and Y success with post release content such as new islands and Mega Stones for us to discover, but the announcement of additional games giving us this content makes me happy. We won’t have to wait long to explore Hoenn in 3D either as Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby release this November.

Where’s my Hulk? – How Marvel could give us The Hulk sooner rather than later

Hulk

Have you seen him? Big, green, likes to smash things? I haven’t really seen much of him since the Avengers film aside from a brief cameo in Iron Man 3 (human form – I’m not complaining, can’t deny I bounced in my seat at the cinema!). But… where’s my Hulk?

Bruce BannerThe Marvel Cinematic Universe is somewhat set in stone already. Only Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron are left unreleased for phase 2, and whilst we know Ant Man and Captain America 3 will be a part of phase 3 there’s still no signs of the big guy. Mark Ruffalo stood out in The Avengers for an actor who hadn’t had his own film prior to the assembly of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He gave a calmness to Bruce Banner we hadn’t seen in The Incredible Hulk that gave him this aura of mystery and mastery over his condition. The film definitely leaves me wanting more from this actor’s take on the character and I’m not so sure I want to wait until the second half of phase 3.

Marvel’s been triumphant in getting fans excited about more than just the films, with one-shots released alongside the DVD/Blu-Rays and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on TV. This makes me wonder if we can’t do something equally challenging with the franchise, additional one-shot’s or even short films. Joss Whedon’s experience with Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog demonstrated that it’s possible to take an idea and a budget of 450k, release it online and make 3 million with it (Forbes interview with Whedon). With Whedon’s constant involvement with the franchise I’d really like to see what can be done with a small budget and a lot of fans willing to watch shorter Marvel productions.

I believe the audience is there, waiting for their Hulk to tear through the fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe…

Beyond Earth

So over the weekend Civilization: Beyond Earth was announced and honestly I think it’s the most exciting game I’ve seen in a while. Here’s a few reasons why…home_us2

1. Civ! Civilization games are great, whilst I’ve only been playing since Civ4 they offer a wide range of gameplay, micro management and infinite replayability.
2. Beyond the Space Race! Building a shuttle and launching it into a space has always been an interesting victory for previous Civilization games but now we get to see what happens when that shuttle touches down on a new planet and decide what to do once there.
3. Aliens! Is our civilization being built on Pandora with large blue tribal aliens or LV426 where everything seems normal until someone gets a hug? We just don’t know! Adapting to indigenous life on your new world is going to be both challenging and fun.
4. YOUR EMPIRE! That’s right you’re in control, are you going to build an army of battle droids, peaceful Jedi or aggressive Sith? I can see Star Wars mods for this game already!
5. Stargates! Alright let’s call them Warpgates for copyright reasons but here’s the potential to go back to Earth and integrate your distant relatives into your civilization peaceful or by force.

emporer-throne

I can’t wait to build my new empire and hear that little voice in my head once again telling me “one more turn” even though I’m tired and should be sleeping. What will you do on your new world?

Best information I’ve seen regarding Civilization: Beyond Earth is PC Gamer’s interview, it tells you “everything you need to know about the new factions, aliens, technology and more”. So go read, and enjoy the announcement trailer!

Downloadable B-Games

I’ve noticed a lot of handheld/mobile games getting HD treatment for consoles/PC lately (Deus Ex: The Fall, Arkham Origins: Blackgate), and it kinda got me thinking…

What if we had smaller games on a smaller budget, Downloadable B-Games if you will, released on Consoles/PC for mainstream games. Similarly to DLC you could have these Downloadable B-Games for a fraction of the main game’s price and they wouldn’t necessarily have to be dumbed down versions of a game either. Picture an RTS/Tower Defense Mass Effect game set during ME3’s battle against the Reapers… I’d buy that instantly!

Reaper Invasion

Just an idea really but you have to admit there’s some sort of market for this type of thing. Dragon Age has had a few smaller games released alongside the main titles, DA: Journeys being a web game released prior to Awakening’s launch, DA: Legends released on Facebook (later downloadable). Serious Sam 3 has a few indie games to accompany it as a marketing strategy too. I feel like there’s something there… Thoughts?

Cheers to @mindofgeekness for being a soundboard on this post and her obligatory comment now that I’ve posted this! 😉

My Hypersleep Journey to Nowhere.

Earth Orbit

Time and time again I’ve looked at my blog and thought hell…it’s been too long since I’ve posted, what do I say? How do I explain the gap, so I thought I’d tell you the truth

Just over a year ago I was contacted by what I can only imagine is a covert government agency, their intention? To make me the first human to successfully survive hypersleep and reach a distant planet known as LV-426. I awoke from hypersleep groggy, tried to find my bearings and discovered I was actually still on earth…had never left Earth…and was probably just sleeping in some sort of advanced looking bed rather than a hypersleep chamber…for over a year.

Yup that’s my excuse, it’s not a good one but it’s mine!

Regenerator
Games! Yup I’m still into them, still playing them. Resident Evil 4’s been my latest obsession. Picked it up on Steam as they released a HD version, not played since the days of the GameCube! Felt pretty good, reminded me why this was my favorite game of the series. Whilst it steps away from it’s T-Virus origins and fixed cameras the game does what a 4th in a game series doesn’t normally do…it works. Have to say I’m pretty keen to play through the Resident Evil games released after 4, hope that they’ll be a nice blend of 1-3 and 4.

Short and sweet for now. This is Sky, last survivor of what I thought was a starship and hypersleep chamber…but wasn’t, signing off.

I Geek ‘N’ Game, Therefore I am

This isn’t my first blog, but it’s the first time I feel confident about what I’m trying to do.

Almost anything I enjoy in life comes under two main categories; geeking and gaming, so I’ve made a blog for exactly that. This gives me a lot of room for what to write about but I’m interested in writing game reviews and sharing thoughts on topics like the latest wave of Marvel films etc.

AwQbXEvCAAM1m84I don’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t playing games. I had access to a PC where I played Wolfenstein 3D, Commander Keen and Sim City and frequently hijacked an Atari 800XL to play Blue Max and Star Raiders 2. My taste for gaming didn’t really take off however until I got my very first console for my 8th birthday; a Sega Megadrive 2 (Genesis for you in the USA). Constant speedruns of Emerald Hill Zone and hacking my way through levels of Golden Axe have pretty much ensured I’ll be gaming to my last breath.

 

 

Time to flip the geek n game coin! I grew up watching films like Robocop and Terminator 2 from a young age, always loved Star Wars and eventually branched out to the Alien films and Star Trek TNG, DS9 and Voyager…couldn’t get enough of the Borg. I loved the worlds in which these stories were set and guess I just wanted more. I ended up discovering the Star Wars expanded universe books like the Thrawn Trillogy, books that continued Terminator’s story after T2 and comics that toyed with the idea of an Alien king.

Now you're thinking with portalsPresent day. I’m a very diverse geek and gamer found playing World of Warcraft, Pokemon or the Sims, re-watching Avengers till the credits roll and generally just playing my freakishly large steam collection. I’m really looking forward to playing SC2: Heart of the Swarm, Aliens: Colonial Marines, the DayZ standalone and watching Iron Man 3 at the cinema this year. If there’s an alien, a gun or a retro feel to it then it’s probably got my attention 😉

So that’s me I guess! I’ll have a few more posts coming out over the next week to give you an idea of what I’m wanting to do with the site; a review of DMC Devil May Cry; a post on Marvel’s films; an alternative to zombies on DayZ and something on Jurassic Park 4 if it were a prequel.

My name is Sky. I geek and game, therefore I am.