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Arcade Decadence

Home of quality gaming and resting place for an old fart who grew up while game concept was golden and FPS was Fast Pissing Syndrome.

Author: Bysta

Rusty Hearts CBT Review

Posted by Bysta Sunday August 7 2011 at 1:41AM
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Rusty Hearts is a free to play 3D action oriented MMORPG game with fast-paced and highly-stylized beat-em-up style combat combined with solo or team-based dungeon exploration experience. The game features combo moves, unique cel-shaded animation, anime-inspired graphics and a variety of PvP modes. The game is developed by Stairway Games and is being brought to the US by Perfect World Entertainment and WindySoft. Rusty Hearts Closed Beta Test started on 27th July.

The game is a mix of the Castlevania, Persona series, with some Dynasty Warriors, mixed in with a dash of Devil May Cry.

Characters & Skills

 

Cast of Characters (frop top): Tude, Natasha, Frantz and Angela

 

For now, the choice boils down to three characters, while the fourth will be unlocked later. Frantz is a typical vampire in-your-face jack of all trades. Angela uses magic while Tude is a brawler with quick reactions.
What I have noticed is that the game is friendly to beginners. The instructions are precise and are presented as the story flows related to the selected character. Each character has the ability to choose specialization in one of two weapons, as well as one of the two types of armor. As you progress you will be gaining skill points for which you can purchase new skills or level up the ones you already selected. The skills are divided in Normal, Special, Buffs and Passive group.

Controls

 

The controls are pretty simple. K - attack, Z - block and C - grab. Other skills are placed in slots corresponding to the keys A, S, D and so on. You move with the arrows keys, jump with space key and dodge with Left Control Key. Also take notice that this game has a gamepad support and that it's very well implemented. When not in dungeon, you can use mouse click method to move around the city.

Quests

 

The Cast of NPCs

 

Quests are divided in several categories. They are spread nicely across the leveling path and dungeons, so you will rarely find yourself slashing trough the dungeon solely for gaining EXP and leveling up.

Story quests often bring some in-dungeon cut-scenes, which tend to be annoying at some point when you are eager to unleash devastating combos to unearthly creatures. Other quests consist of classical gathering of items of some sort from specific mob types in dungeons or challenge tasks.

Cut-Scenes with no voice acting. :(

 

Challenges vary from completing the dungeon alone, completing it in a party, on certain level of difficulty to achieving a certain grade at the end, not getting hit more than certain amount of times or acquiring certain amount of style points. In that way, doing some dungeons several times feels a bit less “grindy”, since you will be focusing in dispatching enemies in the most stylish and flashy way possible using all available skills, worrying about the sequence of  skills and placement of the mobs in a way that the clearing of the room looks as an endless combo. With more friends in the party and on VOIP app, greater the fun.

Dungeons

 

2nd Tier of Castle Curtis

 

Each new map consists of several parts designed for characters of certain level. Each part is a dungeon that needs exploring on various difficulty levels with boss waiting at the end almost exclusively in the biggest room.

Since we are attacking the gloomy dark castle, the obvious way to start the cleansing is from the sewers which we all know as a source of all evil in the world. You will be cleaning aged power and water plants, rusty pipes, and turning some ancient valves. The second map consists of lower parts of the castle and includes Vine Cellar, Cafeteria, Library etc. It seems that new map (tier of the castle) springs up every 10 levels or so.

Ready for combo!

 

Stages are fairly short and straightforward. Defeating enemies restore your HP and MP. Stages come in Normal, Hard and Very Hard difficulties level. You need to beat Normal to advance to Hard difficulty level and so on.

Enemies come in various forms, but you can divide them in three categories based on their attack - melee, ranged and defenders. You should always go for the ranged enemies first, since there is annoying situation where if the ranged archer or caster is off screen you will not be ready to react and Block the incoming arrow, knife or fireball since you don't see him, and the game has no intention of alerting you that you became a target. Stuff like that is more annoying on harder levels of play.

Higher difficulties contain more enemies and potentially a mini-boss (stronger, different colored name monster) in every room. The drop rate is much higher and exp is much better.

 

Like Dungeon Fighter Online and Devil May Cry series, there's a rating system that takes into account how many abilities you use during a dungeon run as well as how well you perform combos. Once you get past the first set of stages, stages have a special "Blood" difficulty, but you need to meet certain requirements before you can enter.

Loot & Awards

 

Margoras

 

After defeating the boss, there is a chance that the Margoras will appear and open the portal to Other World. You and your party are warped to additional, bonus room, where after defeating a dozen of enemies you will be rewarded with a chest full of riddle boxes. Those boxes could contain anything, from crafting materials, costume parts blueprints, consumable items to gear parts of varying quality.

If Margoras does not appear, you are presented with 12 cards each containing some gold or gear items. The number of gear cards is determined by the number of bronze, silver or gold cards collected from dead enemies. The quality of cards and difficulty level of a dungeon also determines the quality of the gear. You pick a card, say “uh!” or “ah!”, collect the loot and exit the dungeon. If you are greedy you can re-pick the card by paying certain amount of gold.

This is not a memory game. Choose wisely!

 

Crafting & Auction House

 

Crafting in game so far consists of cooking, costume tailoring, item crafting and enchanting gear. Cooking will give you dishes and potions with wide range of buffs. Cooking is not a skill that needs leveling. Collect drops from mobs in dungeons, buy some additional cooking materials from Patricia in town and invest some gold. Food will restore your HP, MP or for 60 seconds buff attacks, defenses, critical chance or power etc.

Smells nice!

 

Tailoring costumes works in the same way as cooking, and probably will be done by most players, since all the playing characters throughout the game look the same (except weapons) without the costume parts. That practically means you will grind your ass off in dungeons, waiting for rare tailoring material drops so u can make yourself unique in aesthetic way.

Most of the gear in the game can be dismantled at blacksmith, where a giant skull will chew the item and spit some materials. Acquired materials quality depends on the quality of the dismantled item. Steel, leather, fabrics, solvents and some other rare materials come in grades from lowest to highest and can be upscaled in the same way as in Team Fortress 2 metal combining.

Ruska the blacksmith can craft some decent blue items in increments of 5 levels. Then those blue items can be brought to Estel (Angela Skill Master) near the fountain for another upgrade that will scale your blue item to gold (yellow) status. That level of crafting requires the blue version of an item, mithril steel of highish quality and usually 5 rare drops from bosses named as the piece of their soul.

Enchanting mechanics works mostly the same as in other free to play games. The more you enchant a weapon with pebbles and other gems; the chance of wrecking it is greater. Some enchanting can be done on the spot by dragging and dropping pebbles on the gear items. Other requires a visit to the blacksmith Ruska. First way is safe until the fifth pebble is placed the second is way until the third enchantment. From 4th to 12th enchant there is a chance of loosing all work and from 13th to 20th there is a chance you will loose the item.

Auction House is clumsy

 

Auction House is easily accessible via hotkey, so there is no need to run from one side of town to another, just to buy the missing ingredient for the crafting or enchanting. As much as this feature is convenient, the lack of sorting options while searching for an item and loosing the search if you switch the tabs make the Auction House a clumsy, unpolished tool to use.

Stamina Mechanics

 

Game has a stamina mechanics which works mostly the same as in DFO and discontinued gem Valkyrie Sky. You have 1000 stamina points at your disposal every day. Each dungeon you explore will drain certain amount of points. At the end of the day, when stamina is depleted you have limited options of what you can do in game. You can still explore the dungeons, but you will not be awarded with any EXP or gold and the drop rate of items will be low. Eventually, the cost of the repair bill of bashed items you wear will be the ultimate factor in deciding to stop and wait for stamina to refill. The Stamina does not regenerate over time. The bar fills every day at 2PM CET, or sometime in the middle of the night in US.

Right now, I didn’t see any food or potion recipes that can add some precious stamina to your bar. Probably they will be implemented later in the CBT cycle or the stamina system will be somehow revised in the future, since it’s the major topic on RH forums. Take notice that multiple characters on your account don’t share the same stamina bar and that PVP aspect of the game doesn’t require stamina. Each character has four slots effectively making 12 stamina bars available for play. When the fourth character is introduced that number will jump to 16. On the other hand that will drastically increase the grind fest feel since you will be doing all the same quests and dungeons for each of four characters and variation of them.

PVP

 

The PVP part of the game is nice and a bit less laggy than in other games of the same genre. Also, as mentioned before, it doesn’t require any stamina. When you choose PVP Battles from your character menu a list of available rooms pops up. At your disposal are several types of arena battles.

Tag Team Battle pits each member of your team against randomly selected opponent from opponents’ team. The player who wins stays on the battlefield and takes on the next opponents’ team member. You get the picture who wins.

Team Deathmatch Battle puts your whole team of certain size against the whole opponents’ team in what it seems, for now, to be a button mashing fest. As soon as some guilds are established and some coordination over VOIP apps is developed, we will see some nice matches with smart strategies and executions.

Survival is a last man standing mode, where your button mashing and pussy tactics come to shine. Only first three places take the PvP points.

VIP Battle lets you decide the important person in your team, which you need to protect while also trying to kill the opponents VIP player.

 

Cash Shop

The Cash Shop is also introduced to players in this early stage of CBT. From what I’ve seen from the list there are no gameplay breaking or pay-to-win items (yet). For starters, there are leveling packages, drop rate related packages and guild related packages. Resurrection scrolls, health and mana potions are all there too. There are also boxes containing a gem of specified color but with randomized quality. And finally there are costume parts. Limited for 30 days, somehow overpriced costume items can distinguish you  from hundreds of other players of same character.

 

Opinion

After everything is said, I can wrap this up with my opinion about the game. From what is presented now ingame, and from developers statements and some peaks at a korean website of the game, this will be mostly PvP game. There is no PvE endgame content as far as i know. After people level up, they will be farming last stage of the last castle tier on the "Blood" mode for gear and materials, so they can upgrade for the unforgiving PvP scene. The game is still buggy here and there, but that was expected sine it launched in CBT ten days ago. Some parts of ingame and UI text are still not translated, or translated in Tarzan english.

I will continue to monitor this game, and will bring you the updated review when new things ingame are available.

 

Pros: +Stylish graphics +Gamepad support +Various PvP modes +Cooperative gameplay

Cons: -Buggy (But its Closed Beta) -Limited persistent world environments -Almost there with the translations

Cosmic Break Beta impressions [Part 01]

Posted by Bysta Tuesday August 3 2010 at 3:58AM
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Cosmic Break Login

Cosmic Break is a mech MMOTPS developed by Japanese game studio Cyberstep. The game is set in a futuristic time where there's fusion of human and robots are uncommon.

Story

cosmic 2010-06-11 03-50-40-53

The story in Cosmic Break is fairly simple. There are three Unions which rival each other. The nation of fighters who believe courage and friendliness win in battle, Bladine. The nation of those who choose strength and honor, Dostrex, and the nation of those who trust in wisdom, Wizard. With each of the Unions is a God that is starting to fade away. To bring it back, they must gain the favor of the Cosmos, and the only way to do that is to defeat other nations in battle. Against all of the nations is the great evil force in the game, Chaos, who's only purpose is to make sure none of the deities are revived; the unions all work together at defeating this common foe, but are rivals outside of that field.

Mech Types


Starting the game you pick your initial mech, choosing one of three predefined builds - Land, Air or Artillery. Each build has its weaknesses and its strengths. There is also the fourth type - Support.

Air mech is strong on boosters and air supremacy and good with beam weapons. They can be taken down quickly by bomb and missile type attacks.

Land mech is melee oriented tough robot with powerfull sub and main weapons. They tend to be weak against beam type weapons.

Artillery mech is long range firepower support, with the ability to utilize many different long range weapons including various bombs and missiles. They are weak against melee sub weapons.

Support mech have the ability to use special Wonder Bits unavailable to other robots, allowing it to repair and support their allies during battle. Some of them also have radar related abilities, as well abilities that allow them to inflict enemies with various status effects. However, they tend to lack the raw firepower of other types.


Mech SelectUnion Select

Controls


The controls are easy to pick up. The WASD keys are movement. Press them quickly to dash and run. The mouse controls the camera and targeting cross-hair. The left button fires the primary (usually projectile) weapon, and the right button fires the secondary (usually melee) weapon, but this can all be changed in the garage considering you can equip different weapons. Holding the shift keys and pressing the respective button changes your weapon. The F key is the special attack, only executed when the "Wonder Bit" gauge is full. The Z, X, and Y keys are macros for sending out comments (like follow me, or attack now), like in most FPS games today. Space initiates jump and booster.

Gameplay modes


Cosmic_Break_Guides-0003


Mission Mode

In mission mode, you go trough set number of linear stages, killing monsters and collecting loot towards the boss who is waiting at the end of each stage. the difficulty of the mission can be set to five different levels and can be done in co-op mode with 5 other players. The harder the level of the missions, the mobs and bosses gets nastier but the loot gets yummier.

Mission_Operation_StarclusterBoss_Omega_Golem


Quest Mode

In quest mode of the gameplay, you are descending on the wild planets and explore them. The deeper you go the tougher the enemies get, and the loot gets better. Bonus is awarded for collecting the complete sets of loot, predetermined before the descent.

To stop the constant grinding, the timer is set for the exploration. If the timer runs out or you loose all three of your mech, you loose the loot and any other awards or items you collected in that run. This way, you are forced to consult the timer and the health of your mech, and decide how deep will you explore before you turn back. The layout of Quest Areas changes periodically to keep gameplay fresh, meaning that there's always new treasure to hunt for.

This mode can be done solo or in Co-Op mode, but you will run on other players on the planet while you explore in your group or alone.


Arena Mode

In this action intense PvP mode you battle against other players. You will earn points for your Union and aim for the top spot in the weekly Union point ranking.

Arena Mode - Union Wars

Large PvP battles typically on scales of 15 vs. 15 or 30 vs. 30. Protect your team's "Power Spot" home base while trying to take down the enemy's.

Arena Mode - Team Fight

A mode which allows players of any Union to freely form teams and fight on a smaller scale, such as 3 vs. 3 or 5 vs. 5. Play with standard Power Spots, or try out alternative rules such as Capture the Flag.

Mech Customization, Tuning and Shop


The meat part of the game. Probably the one you will spend most time in, calculating and min/maxing the stats and power of your mech.

The main attributes of mechs and parts are Health, Strength, Tech, Walk, Fly, Toughness, Cost and Capacity.

Health is somehow similar to all other games. Strength is essential for melee combat, while Tec determines how well your mech performs in ranged combat. Walk determines how well mech jumps and lands. Fly governs the flying speed and height. Toughness represents how easily mech is stunned when its hit, duration of a stun, and a consecutive damage reduction when its hit with burst fire or multiple enemies. Cost is the number which is added to mech capacity, and presents the space the part occupies on the mech. Equipping powerful parts and weapons will increase cost, meaning that stronger robots will use up more BP when destroyed in battle. Capacity determines the mech overall tuning and customizing capacity.

You can build and customize your own mechs with parts collected from spoils of war, or buy them from the shop. You can also earn and buy whole mechs. There are currently more than 50 mechs and 300 parts to collect. The mech consists from Head (HD), Body (BD), Arm (AM), Booster (BS), and Leg (LG). In addition, they may be equipped with a variety of main/sub weapon type parts, Wonder Bits (EX) parts, and a few other special types parts. If you own a mech you can buy it from the shop whole or as parts. If you own certain parts of mech, you can only buy that parts.
 

 

Cosmo Pot TuningParts also have number of slots for tuning up. The more slots, better the part. Tuning is done in a Cosmo Pot. A number of items are needed for each type of tune up. Each consecutive tune up decreases the chance of success. If tune up fails - that slot is lost forever.


Season gamers might find the 3D graphics rather outdated but then the game has something to offer which mecha fans get something to feel excited about.

Cosmic Break Official website

Old gamers diary - 001 New beta MMOs (Heroes In The Sky & Cosmic Break)

Posted by Bysta Monday June 7 2010 at 4:57AM
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This week I will be participating in two beta tests. Heroes In The Sky and Cosmic Break are my choices. Both are MMO shooters, one set in WWII and the other is a gundam ripoff Sci-Fi style. I dont know, i must be in that kind of mood, choosing shooters, since I am overwhelmed with Starcraft 2 beta testing, and cant stand playing fantasy MMORPGs no more.

I read alot about those two games on forums, mmo portals and blogs, and I am eager to get into the action. First one is chosen since I am playing Air Rivals, and I am looking for the fresh aproach to the MMO aerial shooter genre. The second is choosen.......well simply....I like mechas.  :D

One thing I dont like about those games is that their servers are US based, so its gonna be again recalculating PST time to GTM+1. :D Hate doing that, and playing in off hours.

I didnt have curtesy of playing any games from publishers of those two games - Gamecampus and Cyberstep, so i dont know how hard will the cash shop affect the gameplay and expirience in future releases of those games. I hope it will be all cosmetics items, so the gameplay stays balanced.

 

Heroes In The Sky usefull links:

Heroes In The Sky Official Forums

Heroes In The Sky XFire Community

Cosmic Break usefull links:

Cosmic Break Official Forums

My Profile @ Cosmic Break (Cyberstep's portal)

Old gamers diary - 001

Posted by Bysta Thursday May 27 2010 at 7:19PM
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Its another Thursday. And a hot one too. Weather finaly calmed down, and now its sweaty 30 degress.

I spent last evening and most of the night playing [b]Starcraft 2[/b] Beta with my friends, in 1vs1, 2vs2 and 3vs3 setups. Surprisingly low rate of drops from the game. Blizzard is working their magic in polishing the game. Its just one more month until release of the first part from the SC2 trilogy.

I decided not to attend Advanced base wars in Air Rivals last night in favor of SC2 beta, since those base wars became stacking fest in this [i]MMO Aerial shooter[/i]. Its now exactly three months since I started playing [b]Air Rivals[/b], and I must say I am fairly addicted to this game. I was stalling the start of playing this game for almost a year, and then some online friends told me alot of good things about this game's PvP and the good stuff that comes after standard Korean style grinding. :D


I read the couple of reviews of this game, including the one on this site, and decided i should go for it. After a month i found a very good brigade to join. The Brigade [i][b]"Balkan Knights"[/b][/i] is made of people from my country and ex neighbouring republic. Good bunch of players who helped me alot in the game, and showed me all angles of this game. I am getting ready to write a full review of my 3 month experience in [b]Air Rivals[/b].

Now I need to get ready and go to dentist. I hate dentists. And then. Im getting back to grinding ship in [i]Dimensional Corridor[/i] in [b]Air Rivals[/b], unitl its time for some more [b]Starcraft 2[/b] beta action!

Enjoy life, enjoy gamming!

Battleswarm: Fields Of Honor (Open Beta)

Posted by Bysta Saturday October 31 2009 at 9:00AM
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I am participating open beta testing of interesting crossgenre online game.

Battleswarm: Fields Of Honor pits First-Person Shooters against Real-Time Strategists in epic online battles waged between elite Human Soldiers and massive swarms of Bugs. This is very interesting concept and I think that with little polishing, this game will be worth playing.

To set one thing clear, this game is free to play. That means that there will be an item cash shop and everything that goes with this kind of games, but all the items you can buy also for the ingame cash.

Weapons and armor are bought on time basis. You can buy them for 3, 7 or 30 days, after which they expire. You can earn enough cash to be properly geared for battles with a decend group.

Here are some interface screenshots. Main interface, shoping, packing gear and game room before the start.

Currently I am playing as a human, and I must say that I enjoy this FPS. There is no soloing or Mr. Rambo actions, since humans need to communicate and organise in order to survive and win against the swarms of bugs.

Maps varies from defend the base full of reactors in Jungle outpost, planting the bombs into the Hive core, defending reactors and planting bombs in Ruined city and good old Arena matches.

"Leveling" a human player, if we can say that, consists of progressing trough ranks, which unlocks better armor, weapon and supplies. Also there is a "map leveling" which can provide you with attack, defence or speed boost after a certain amount of bugs are killed. Those boosts lasts untile you die, and can be stacked 3 or 4 times depending on your level.

Enemies drop blue diamonds, which when picked up, provide shield or health boosts, or random Gift Box (Paper, Copper, Silver or Gold) which with appropriate key can be unlocked after the game - which provide common, uncommon or rare drops in term of armor, supplies or weapons.

Here is my little gameplay video on YouTube.

We played Jungle Battle map, in wich Humans defend their base with three reactors. The game lasts until 300 points are won or timer expires. Humans gain points by killing bugs and staying alive, while bugs can win by destroying three reactors for 100 points each.

I am eager to see where this game will progress, since the authors and developers are listening to beta testers, and try to improve the game.
 

[EvE] n00bs In Space Episode 00 - Prologue

Posted by Bysta Sunday December 23 2007 at 3:49PM
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n00bs In Space

I remember when I was 14, how engulfing were the 880kb of Amiga's port of ELiTE. Yes the megamighty Elite, which spawned many games with similar space galore theme in 15 years. Privateer, Starlancer, Freelancer, Homeworld, Dark Star One, whatever was the name, we all knew the style they brought. Space sims and space RTS. :D
You remember Trade Wars on Buletin Board Systems? Good. EVE-Online makers remebered it too.

I was sucked into The World Of Warcraft for the first 6 months of its release. I waited for it for so long and even knew what I wanted to play when it finaly comes out from the Blizzard cook-house. I wanted to be the big refrigerator on the fiery horse. Yes, you guessed it right! I was Ork Warlock :D.

 

So I played WoW. Went questing, instance dwelling, city raiding, PvP clashing.....And I finaly realised something which was partialy clear to me, but the article in a mag i forgot name, put the exclamation mark at the end of my out-of-the-boiled-brain fact. WOW was nothing more, and IS nothing more than highly polished, full mega-fry-your-video-card 3d version of Diablo. Nothing more, nothing less...
But, I was a lucky one to have very nice group of people playing with me. We also met some nice friends around the globe. Some of them even came to visit us in Belgrade, Serbia. So, sort to speak - it wasnt a waste of time. And also World Of Warcraft comes as a version of My Space social network when you look it from that angle. Most of the time inhabited by geeks, leet peeps, and Counter-Strike players cross-dressed on weekends in battlegrounds - But hey, I said I was lucky.

In that time I was introduced to EVE-Online. My friend got a test account so I went to yet another MMORPG - but in space. The big word about it was that the world constantly changed and that it was possible to influence it in a way that is more than changing the gear you are wearing and the color of your hair.

As someone said on gaming forums in Belgrade - What is this big black Windows Commander clone, dressed up like a game. But in the deeper layer I saw the beauty of Homeworld's universe an spacescapes. My friend logged in. He flied a little, he mined the asteroid a little, he docked to the station (nowhere nearly spectacular to when you dock in Elite for the first time). The game didnt hooked me. Like some others did. But it didnt left me uninterested. Part of it was because I am a big "universe" lover and like to read about it. Other part was that Blizzard firmly holded me in the claws of WoW. I was around level 50 and had yet to expirience some nice game features.

EVE waited patiently for her chance to hook me again. Occasional newsletters from the developer, pinned me from time to time, to read about the game improvements and story that was evolving.

In the meantime I stoped playing WoW. I must admit, I stoped playing everything. I mean everything. Occasional excursions into Civilisation III and IV, and into universe of MAME doesn't count.

I started working full time, producing music, designing some stuff for websited, barmen. Found a decent girl that I'll marry and I still dont play.

Couple of weeks ago, like an itch in the brain, I got the feeling I need to play something, something not too much time consumming, yet leaving me with the feeling of fullfilness (maybe too heavy word). I needed to play something in space, to fly away for a while, from time to time.

EVE came to mind.....

I phoned my friend who showed me EVE. I forgot his birthday. He listened to my excuse. He knows me. He laughs, because he knows me. We are in the simillar state of mind about games in this moment. We agreed we'll give EVE a chance.

And thus no matter that I am 31 years old - these are The Chronicles of NOOBS IN SPACE. The diary of our virgin brains plunged into the space of the second best MMORPG out there, which firmly holds its position against highly polished Diablo clone - World Of Warcraft.

To be continued in Episode 01 - Ignition.

 

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