Slack poster I know….

Umm yes….we’ve been a tad slack on the post side of things lately.

So what we been up to ?

Well, the TOR gang got together for a small LAN a couple weeks back, had some laughs, watched the league, burnt some meat on the BBQ, played some games, including Overwatch, CoD4:MW, and because timing was right, got to try out the latest Battlefield game, BF:V.

I was actually surprised how well BF:V ran on my system – impressive game to play, even on my “new” old box. Tough game though if you’re new to the series or just out of touch with it. Could tell those who had played a lot.

64 players aside made it fun tho – would I buy it ? Not really – I’m not a massive FPS fan so would probably get dusty on my Steam/Origin shelf 😉

Looking at all my games in Steam etc, I really havent completed many of them. So Ive uninstalled a good 80% of my games, and will concentrate on just a few, and will play them to the end. I’m starting off with Final Fantasy 7 (Steam version) – absolute classic, which I owned on Playstation on release, but never actually finished it. Cloud FTW

My RetroPi unit has been on the backburner for a while, but now I have two new 32GB SD cards, I can dedicate a card to the Pi and get on with it. So plan is to have the RPi 3 setup for RetroPi, and the older RPi as an Amiga emulator. Should be fun.

And thats it for now…….ciao!

NetHack: Legacy announced

 

Houston, TX (August 1, 2018) – Indie game studio FrozenCrate announces a remastered version of the original NetHack: one of the oldest and most intricate dungeon roguelikes. The revamped classic, dubbed NetHack: Legacy, will launch through Steam on August 10th for macOS, Linux, and Windows.

NetHack: Legacy pulls the 30+ year old game up to modern standards while still retaining the essence of what makes the game so fun and addictive. You can still do just about anything in the dungeon, from training your dog to steal items, to using your helmet as a weapon; they just clean up a lot of the baggage from antiquity and add new features to enhance the classic D&D roguelike experience.

“We tried to remove many of the technical barriers surrounding NetHack, so you can get straight into the game without messing with terminal settings, config files, or in extreme cases, compiling the code yourself,” states Kevin Nygaard, lead developer at FrozenCrate. “You just start the game and it runs. We added things that sound silly since they are so commonplace now; things like title screens, window resizing, persistent options, cross-platform saves, mouse support, arrow keys… yes, arrow keys.” The game also adds features like in-game recording, so you can re-watch games you’ve played and figure out where you went wrong or what you could have done differently.

Though with all these improvements, NetHack: Legacy focuses closely on bringing the original dungeon crawling experience to players. “Before tilesets, the only way you could play NetHack was through the ASCII interface. Instead of having little pictures of items and monsters, you had characters, like a ‘d’ for your pet dog,” Nygaard explains. “This was revolutionary in the age of text-based adventure games like Zork. But, it straddled the boundary, still leveraging text descriptions and your imagination for what a creature looks like, which makes the dungeon environment a bit more shrouded in mystery. We believe that was one of the core experiences that made NetHack great, so we kept the ASCII look and feel.” To further complete the retro inspiration, the character-based graphics have special effects to mimic an old CRT terminal from the days past, including glow effects and warped screen distortion.

NetHack: Legacy launches through Steam worldwide on August 10th, 2018 for $5.99.

Official Website: https://nethacklegacy.com
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/837200/NetHack_Legacy/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrozenCrate
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4TmeToR9Mk
Press kit: https://frozencrate.com/press/sheet.php?p=nethack_legacy

About FrozenCrate: https://frozencrate.com/press/index.php

Easy as Pi Emulation

Recently I was given a Raspberry Pi, inc case, power, wifi and SD card. Plan was for my eldest daughter to play with it and see if its something that would interest her going forward…. she showed a lot of interest, more so when she found Retropie.

Since then, she started hassling me to help her get it running to play some old games….so I did.

And guess what ? It was damn easy.

Just dump the latest Retropie image on the SD card, and away you go. The only thing we had issues with, was getting through the initial controller setup. It didnt seem to like my budget USB game pad, so ended up using an Xbox One controller.

Now, since this is an original Pi, its not amazing at emulation, but runs the early arcades such as PacMan, Space invaders, Donkey Kong well, but anything else can be hit and miss. My daughter fired up Super Mario Kart (SNES) and while it did run, it wasnt great.

Copying new games was easy as copying some ROM’s into the relevant folders onto the SD card over the network.

So now, I’m hooked on this little box for emulation purposes, but looking at obtaining the latest Pi which apparently handles most stuff without a problem. Being so small, its portable, which makes it great for throwing into a bag when you go away for a weekend and the kids start going “Im bored” – find an HDMI capable display and you’re away.

Now, this does make my RetroBox project rather redundant………  I may still do it, I’ll see how the new Pi goes.

 

Check out : Retro Asylum

If you’re into retro gaming and listen to podcasts, I’m pretty sure you would have come across Retro Asylum.

It’s a great podcast with a group of guys who love their retro gear and gaming and have a great sense of humor.

I’ve been tuning into them for about 8 months now and find it fascinating listening about all the systems they’ve come across or own, a lot of gear we never saw officially in New Zealand.

They cover all aspects of retro gaming, from hardware, software, peripherals, newly developed games (inc Amstrad!) and more.

I highly recommend checking them out. You can find them on all the usual social media platforms, including Discord – but the bugger about discord is that we’re usually asleep when they all come to life 🙁

 

PUBG – Android

So, Tencent released a mobile version of PUBG.

Lets take a look… bearing in mind, I’ve never played the PC version.

I’m running it on a Huawei P10Lite running Android 7.0 and it runs ok in low settings, except for some major graphical glitches. Due to the number of chipsets etc, its to be expected. I did get one kill in the game however, so its not too bad.

 

Sea of Thieves : Thoughts

Sea of Thieves – since it was first announced it had my attention, but I was slightly concerned that would be it different enough than everything else out there to get people interested, and hold their interest.

Well, since the game had its Final Beta this weekend and I can reveal more info and a video (all previous Beta’s etc were under a NDA), I’m happy to announce its looking damn good and a lot of fun.

Graphics – wow. I have not seen such amazing water physics in a game. GTA5 water was good, but this takes it 5 steps further. The water looks real, acts real, and when light hits it, it reacts how it would in the real world. The main ship and character graphics look like they’ve been ripped from Team Fortress 2 due to their artistic style, but are very well animated. Their simple looking but very effective. Everything is very smooth and clear. Now, most games of this ilk, if you go under water, you’re either looking at fairly bland scenery or just cant see the bottom – not so here. When you’re near an island, the water is teeming with life and color.

Sound – everything that can move, has a sound effect attached to it – sails, ropes, wood, when people moving around on deck while you’re below, you can hear their footsteps etc. Music is played in a similar fashion to Red Dead Redemption – a small bit of background music will come on occasionally. If you like your sailing to be a bit more noisy, then you can select one of two period correct instruments and start playing one of 3 pieces of music (Ride of The Valkyries while chasing an enemy boat is awesome) and if one of your fellow crew decides to pull out a musical instrument at the same time, you both play the same piece giving the music a more complete sound.

Gameplay – very simplistic and yet effective. Switch between a sword and a pistol/rifle/shotgun quickly, access various other equipment such as buckets (needed when you’re taking on water), banana’s (for energy), lanterns (to see) and other options. When you encounter an enemy ship, thats when the game really kicks in, you can either attempt to get away by angling your sails with the winds for maximum speed, or fight it out – either with cannons, or just ram the other ship and board them.

When you die, you end up on The Ferry of the Damned, a ghost ship where you must wait a couple of minutes before being able to spawn back into the game.

If you are left behind by your crew, or fall overboard, you can spawn back on board courtesy of the friendly mermaid/mermen who appear.

Overall, this game is looking to be a lot of fun, with crew not working together (oi who’s steering/fixing the ship/bailing water), firing yourself out of a cannon to board ships or get to hard to get to places, getting drunk in game together and so on. I’m on board for it and hope to purchase the full game on the 20th when its released.

I have had someone ask if its a grinding game etc like WoW/Guild Wars etc – not really, depends how you want to play it. There are quests and treasure maps, to give you money to buy better gear, but honestly, I think if you were just in it for the ship battles and exploring, then you’ll be happy as a fish in the sea.

Now, for those on older systems thinking “crap, Ill need a graphics card/CPU update”, fear not. Its well optimized and runs nicely on my system (specs below) which is considered “crap” by many 😉

Intel Pentium G3258, 8GB DDR3, Zotac AMP! Edition 760GTX (2GB), Kingston SSD.

Rare have done an amazing job on this game, and I look forward to playing it.

 

Overwatch League (OWL)

I don’t really watch eSports but I have really been getting into the watching the first season of the Overwatch League or OWL for short. I highly recommend to give it a go, but be warned after watching these guys in action playing solo queue competitive will be ruined for you.

Below is a brief description from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overwatch_League

The Overwatch League (abbreviated as OWL) is a professional eSports league for the video game Overwatch, developed by Blizzard Entertainment which also oversees the League. The Overwatch League aims to follow the model of traditional North American professional sports, using a set of permanent teams and regular season play, rather than the use of promotion and relegation used commonly in other eSports leagues. Each team franchise is backed by an owner, and players that are signed onto the team are assured a minimum annual salary, benefits, and a portion of winnings and revenue-sharing based on how that team performs in the season.

The League was announced in November 2016, and the first twelve teams were established within a year from that. The first season started regular season play in January 2018, to run through June 2018, followed by post-season playoffs and an All-Star weekend to occur in July. A total prize pool of US$3.5 million is available to teams within the first season.

Official Website:

https://overwatchleague.com/en-gb/