Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Podcast is cursed: More at 11

The podcast has been done for several nights now, however, our hosting service continues to tell us that it's an invalid file type. The podcast is an mp3, and it's playing perfectly well on Winamp and Windows Media player, so we're not quite certain what's going on.

I've rebuilt the MP3 file three times now from the source audio, and the hosting service is being a total ass about it. Hopefully we can get it resolved and uploaded in a timely manner.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Website: Broken Comments Fixed

Looks like all this time, our comments link had been broken due to the site template. Thanks to Cal, our resident Web 2.0 Guru, all's well now. Comment away!

So if you've tried to comment in the past... as long as we've been up, sorry! We're fixed now! 

Also, podcast is coming in tonight or tomorrow. Personal issues kept two of the guys away this week. Also, we're using a different recording method, so it'll not sound like ass.
Till then, keep fraggin!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Impression: Warhammer Online

I'm a long time player of WoW, and every once in a while, I'll get through all the current content that there is, and get bored. I've reached that point currently, and I'm looking for something to replace Warcraft until the Ulduar patch comes out, and brings me back for some more boss-slaying goodness. When I reach this point, I normally look for open betas, and free trials on other MMOs to pass the time.

This time, I took up the main competitor to Warcraft, EA/Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Signing up and downloading the trial was easy enough, and the "realm vs. realm" zone battles seemed intriguing. As I was downloading the game, I read up on the classes a bit, and knew immediately which one I wanted to play. From the description, the Chosen class on the Chaos race seemed awesome, like a melee dps class that could wreck hell on the enemies. The character creation in-game seemed to disagree, labeling them as a tanking class. I was very disappointed, as I hate being a tank, and instead rolled a Marauder. Very early on, the game lets you know that it's focus is PvP. The second quest I got was to participate in a "Scenario" (Battleground for you WoW players) that was pretty much a carbon copy of Arathi Basin with three flags. The UI felt completely like a ripoff of Warcraft, as did the way the marauder class played (mutations = stances for warriors). From the bit of PvP experience the game allowed me to play, it became evident that the tank classes are indeed tanks... but less like the "stand behind me while I take the brunt of damage, but deal little myself) and more like an Abram's Tank. Or a Deathknight... or ret pally.

The plate classes can both take a ton of damage, and equally dish it out, which brings to question why even have the light armor melee class at all? The quest system was also uninspired, and the game as a whole currently feels rather flat. The graphics are low-scale, run on any system like WoW's, but they don't have that stylized feel that keep Warcraft's graphics from aging. Unless the game itself picks up in enjoyment, Warhammer will probably get a Last Impression, and not a Review. I expected more out of Warcraft's chief competitor, but I guess that's why they just merged servers.

First Impression: Wanted: Weapons of Fate

So I haven't posted in god knows when, and some of you may have tuned into podcast and wondered two things:
A. Tsurai's voice is damn sexy
B. What the fuck is he talking about? One Chinese guy versus ten Japanese? Que?

Well I'm here to give you an answer: shut up. It's my analogy and I will cryptically say it as I damn well please. Now onto the topic at hand: Wanted.

Again, shut up. I know the game is not out yet, that's why we have demos. Yes the demos, those grand peeks into the future that actually obscure the general game at hand, but we try them anyway because we want to know what we're about to dip into before we burn that precious money that we don't give banks to due to the issues of trust-funds and other frauds. Good times.

Those of you who are fans of the comics or the movie probably anticipated Warner Brothers would be whoring the title for more cash, and they have: "Wanted: Weapons of Fate" places you into the position of Wesley Gibson, the self-proclaimed bastard child of a legendary assassin. During the course of the game you will progress as both Wesley and his father, Cross. During the demo, you'll progress through a very small portion of the larger storyline (hopefully) whereas in the tutorial, you will play as Wesley.

The game itself is a standard Third-Person Shooter: take for cover, shoot, flank, suppression, etc. Probably the two features that set this game aside from the general 3PS is the ability to run while shooting and curving the path of the bullets, though both features require kills in order to build up a type of gauge to deplete while performing these actions. Aside from that, you have your standard difficulties, appropriately labeled as such: Pussy, Assassin, and The Killer. Sadly, you will only get to play on Pussy for the demo, how iconic.

The only issue one will come across is graphics. Developed by GRIN, who seems to have only developed a handful of games, the graphics fit the settings at hand but still could use some tweaking; however, the game is bound to release on the 24th of March, so that cry will go unanswered.

Despite the simplistic game play and average graphics, the game still has it's "in-your-face" attitude, including moments where Wesley humiliate the player for wasting his/her pathetic existence away with video games and being an overall failure of humanity. While myself and others know this to be another franchise cow Warner wants to milk dry, I still intend to buy this game for all it's success/failures. I hope others will to, otherwise: "What the fuck have you done lately?"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Commentary: The Future of Gaming

I used to read a lot of gaming magazines (most likely due to the fact that my brother had a subscription to PCgaming and often had them lying all about his apartment for my boredom convinience). At some point later on, after reading many of those magazines, I was playing Bioshock and thought to myself "didn't I read about this like, 3 years ago? How long has this game been in production?"

I got to thinking about how the particular article I had read claimed that this 'new and amazing game!' was going to feature things like, the ability to create your own abilities by combining other abilities and mutating your genes, realistic physics, and a very twisted plotline that allowed you to be whoever you wanted throughout the game. It sounded pretty amazing.

Now, bioshock IS a good game, don't get me wrong, but it definately didn't quite meet what they had said it would. I thought to myself, "What happened!? Where did these features go!? Did they erase them or did they never have them in the game to begin with?"

I suddenly felt let down, and then I thought, dangerously, about the other articles I had read about games yet to be released, things like Hybrid and Deep Space, Fable 2, Ghostbusters, all titles that are reported to be absolutely amazing for X number of reasons. Would they fall down on the job to?

I remember hearing about Warhammer, early on, and how it would have a system in-game that would cause the game mobs to come together and form societies that would grow if unchecked, and eventually attack player cities. A feature that I think we'd all agree sounds pretty awsome, except it was scrapped, apparantly, so they could spend more time on PVP objectives.

I feel like every game is striving to re-revolutionize the industry with some new level of graphics, control scheme or in-game feature. All of which they spend too much time on perfecting (usually not even into perfection) while other features get overlooked and shrivel up like an unwatered house plant. How many more games are going to be released that are to easy, too short, or too clunky before designers realize that this isn't working?

Many gamers ask why people keep playing games like, World of Warcraft and Half-Life 2, and the answer is quite simple. No one yet has done something better. Instead, they try to re-make the same game only with better graphics or control schemes.

Ultimately, we as gamers are at the mercy of the developer, but we also will determine, always, what is popular. A new feature or control scheme will not be the deciding factor of what makes a game better than another. The only deciding factor is if it's accepted by the public, by us.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

FRAGD FM Episode 1: Ole Motherfuckers

Our first episode of FRAGD FM is up for listening on the intrawebs. I't been submitted to the iTunes and Zune stores, and hopefully they'll pick up the feed. Sorry about the technical limitations on the recording, we really wanted to use Skype, but the damn thing fought us at every turn, so we're looking for a solution to it.

Intro/Outro music: TF2 Gun Sounds by Mortal Symphony
Break music: Little Mac's Confession by Game Over(courtesy of OC Remix)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Podcast Delay

We're having some delays with the podcast, just sit tight, I should have it up by tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FRAGD FM - Our Very Own Podcast!

Yes that's right folks, I'm introducing our very own podcast! Welcome to FRAGD FM. Hopefully, we'll have a real episode up later this week, but I'd like to point your attention over to the right, where we have a yahoo media player and the podcast announcement... in podcast form! 

If you have any suggestions on what we need to talk about on the podcast, please send mail to rogue(dot)a(at)gmail(dot)com. Hope you enjoy it folks!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

News: Unreal Tournament 3 Free Weekend on Steam

For those of you not following Epic's Latest in the Unreal Tournament franchise, Epic has been hard at work at a "major" expansion to the game. Dubbed the "Titan Pack," this massive free downloadable content (yes I said free) is perhaps the biggest free DLC ever. And it's out. Today.

Currently, Steam is running a promotion for the weekend. Download and play UT3 free for this weekend. If you like it, buy it at a reduced price (until March 15th). Trust me on this one, this game is a must-buy if you're a fan of fast paced, tournament style first person shooters. And at $11.99, you really can't go wrong.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week in Release: March 3, 2009

I figured this might be interesting to some people, so I'm going to start a weekly feature called "Week In Release." Basically, I'm going to pick through this upcoming week's releases, and siphon out the gems from the shovelware.

This week, we have a few notable titles coming out. First off, the big release of the week, is Halo Wars. Halo Wars is what the original Halo was supposed to be... an RTS. Now, it's an exclusive RTS on the Xbox 360, and that's where we get a bit sketchy. Real Time Strategy games, as most know, aren't too fit for the console crowd. Now, I'm not saying that they're not capable of playing an RTS game, no, what I'm saying is the old mantra that it's rather hard to control an RTS with only a game pad. As pointed out by several of the podcasts I listen to regularly (Listen UP!, Rebel FM), the control scheme for this game doesn't really do it justice. It's a good game, but it's held back by the lack of control over certain units due to a clunky selection mechanism. Personally, I haven't played it, but you can pick up the demo off of the Xbox Marketplace and decide for yourself if the game is for you.

Next up is Empire: Total War. I'm not a big fan of the RTS genre, so I don't know much about this game other than it's probably going to be another excellent title in the Total War franchise. There's some new additions to the franchise like using buildings as cover, and micro management of the use of your army's musket rifles, but all in all, if you're a fan of the genre, you already know about it and have it pre-ordered.

The next iterations of the respective Major League Baseball games are out this coming week as well, Major League Baseball 2k9, and MLB '09: The Show make their way onto the consoles, and that's all I'm going to mention about them, as baseball games have gone from being moderately fun in the '90s, to rather boring and uninteresting in the "nows".

Final couple releases for this week are Tom Clancy's HAWK on the 360 and PS3, which is some air fighting game, and Phantasy Star Portable on the PSP(oh look, they share the same acronym). PSP on the PSP is, from initial idications, basically just Phantasy Star Universe but with lower textures and such. Considering PSU was pretty bad compared to Phantasy Star Online, I'm not even sure if this is a decent buy... though it's probably better than anything not-killzone on the PSP right now.

Oh, and there's Sonic and the Black Knight for the Wii, but no one really cares, as Sonic Team no longer have a soul, and just have been pumping out crap since the Dreamcast era.