Archive for the ‘Opinions (Gaming)’ Category

Adventure Time: Super Jumping Finn

September 2, 2013 Leave a comment
The skin is very Adventure Time, but otherwise this could be from dozens of different Flash games all over the web.

The skin is very Adventure Time, but otherwise this could be from dozens of different Flash games all over the web.

Image source: Developer Heavy Boat’s website.

Available as Amazon’s Free App of the Day over the weekend, Super Jumping Finn is basically a Flash game – in fact you can play a less-featured version on the Cartoon Network website – and one you’ve played before.

It’s one of those games where you try to hit something/someone as far as you can and attempt to beat your own records, most of the challenge coming from getting the timing right as you select the angle and power (though in Super Jumping Finn you only control the power, not the angle). Other than it using the Adventure Time art style and characters there’s little about it specific to the series, it’s mostly just a re-skin of a very familiar game type.

In this game there’s an actual goal beyond just getting as far as you can, tasking you with reaching the distant ice fortress to rescue the princess within. There’s a mass of upgrades to buy and a massive distance to cover that seems impossible at first, and it’s only once you’ve a bunch of upgrades and the sky is full of helpers that you start being able to cover great distances almost without trying.

Both the upgrade and achievement systems are a bit weird in their design, as most of the upgrades are for the helpers, which you have no control over as they’re spread (possibly randomly) throughout the sky, so there’s no guarantee you’ll hit a specific helper or be able to determine which of them will be best to upgrade first. I found it was best to buy the first level of each helper first (so that the sky is as full as it can be) and then focus on upgrading Jake instead, seeing as you can trigger those abilities yourself and are guaranteed to use them in every game.

The achievements can only be earned one per game and that goal is chosen for you randomly, so you could do all that you need to do in order to achieve multiple achievements in one session but it won’t count, as you can only achieve the one it has chosen for you that time. I managed to reach the final destination and win the game before getting any of the achievements for reaching any of the prior zones, for example. It seems like a fairly arbitrary way to stretch out the game’s length.

Super Jumping Finn is fun for what it is, but it doesn’t ever really reach beyond being a full-featured Flash game, and I wouldn’t have actually paid money for it.


Gaming: Darksiders

Over the weekend I started and finished Darksiders on PC, which I picked up very cheaply in a previous Steam sale. It’s a good game, and like the demo suggested it sits somewhere between Zelda and God of War, being combat-heavy and sending you off to dungeons in search of items which help you navigate the world, the boss generally having a weakness to your newest item. The world feels like the creators know more about it than they’re revealing, that they do have some investment in their story and it’s not just dressing up the combat, and there’s a good visual style to a lot of it (especially the main characters), like they’ve been plucked out of a comic or cartoon but without being cel-shaded.

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Gaming: World of Warcraft: 1) Worgen


As with the goblin campaign, the worgen opening puts you straight into the city.

First place goes to the worgen campaign, the other of the races new to Cataclysm. The worgen are werewolves, the ones you play as coming from the human nation of Gilneas. Back in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Gilneas weren’t exactly big supporters of the Alliance, the game’s instruction manual (which was an elaborate thing, full of more story content than it was game information) presenting their isolationism as their most notable characteristic. By the end of the Second War (ie. the second game) the Gilnean king, Greymane, had erected a massive wall around his kingdom and completely cut them off from the rest of the world.

This was the situation the nation was in when World of Warcraft launched, the wall making the area inaccessible (and for those who were able to exploit their way through there was nothing of consequence there), and that’s how it remained right up until the launch of the Cataclysm expansion, when Gilneas finally rejoins the Alliance. So what have they been getting up to behind the wall?

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Gaming: World of Warcraft: 3) Undead

There are lots of graves in this zone.

The starting zone for the undead Forsaken already had a lot of character before the launch of Cataclysm, the nature of the race enabling Blizzard to use well-established themes. It was an area of dead trees, graveyards, gloom and zombies, adding a lot of personality to a zone that was structured just like all the others. One key difference was that there were several-questgivers who were clearly evil (the game never presents either playable faction as villains), experimenting on people and working on a plague that they hoped would turn the whole world into free-willed undead and bring an end to the prejudices directed against them, many people unable to distinguish the Forsaken from Arthas’ Scourge. It was already a solid zone, but Cataclysm has still managed to improve it dramatically.

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Gaming: World of Warcraft: 4) Draenei

Azuremyst Isles

You can tell they're near the night elves because of all the purple.

When the draenei race were first announced as being the new race who would join the Alliiance in World of Warcraft’s first expansion pack there was a fair bit of controversy. Like the blood elves the draenei are an established race in the Warcraft setting, but where the new blood elves fit the established version of the race, the draenei… didn’t. In the established lore the draenei, part of another race called the eredar, were the wholly evil race responsible for driving the titan Sargeras mad, who then went on to start all the troubles with the demons (ie. the entire Warcraft storyline). When you meet them in Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft they look like this:

Were the Alliance about to get their first 'monstrous' race?

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Gaming: World of Warcraft: 5) Death Knight

The Scarlet Enclave

This isn't how the area looks when you first start playing. Phasing in action!

The death knight isn’t a unique race, they’re a class, but with several key differences. They start at level 55 and can only be created if you already have a high-level character, and they have their own starting area and opening questline which means they qualify for this series (though I played through the whole opening, level thirteen not being a valid milestone here). Freshly created and sworn into the service of the Lich King – this is the one opening that can’t take into account the changes of Cataclysm – new death knights are tasked with mopping up the last remnants of the Scarlet Crusade. They were introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and were therefore Blizzard’s first chance to show off their phasing technology.

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Gaming: World of Warcraft: 6) Tauren


It's a well.

For me the tauren always struck a better balance between being a peaceful people and having to take part in conflict than the night elves do. I don’t think the tauren in World of Warcraft come across as quite the same race as they did in Warcraft 3, the big broad character models in the MMO not quite aligning with the leaner ones of the strategy game, but that’s not a major issue. They’re a people who know that aggression is sometimes necessary, but they strive for peace.

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