Monthly Archives: January 2011

As a follow-up to my previous post regarding tips to help folks out in Arrowhead Games’ Magicka, some googling for effective spell combinations has led me to a new Wiki that’s been put up to help folks with the game.

The name of the resource site is called Magickapedia, and right now it has all the things I can think of to master the game’s mechanics short of actually practicing spell-prompting. This includes a page on the available (or at least currently known) Spell Combinations available to players, as well as a useful reference to specific magic spells (which they’ve called Magickas) you can learn by combining certain elements in sequence.

Check out the Magickapedia, learn from it, and practice your spell casting so you can kick some troll butt! Cheers!


Category: PC Gaming

I figured that my impressions piece was a bit lacking, so I decided to make a second article focusing on things I’ve picked up in-game and on forums that may be of use to people hoping to beat some goblins into submission.

There’s just one issue I haven’t figured out yet, and that’s figuring out if the game takes screenshots when I press the PrintScreen button.

Anyway, let us move on.

First off, there is no mana to worry about in this game. You can basically fire off spells without worrying about conserving mystical energy, but you have to remember what you’re casting, how you’re casting it, and where you’re pointing that spell at.

The basics:

To cast a spell in the general direction of your mouse, press one of the eight keys that have a spell icon on them: Q for Water, W for Life, E for Shield, R for Cold, A for lightning, S for Arcane, D for Earth, and F for Fire.  This will prompt a spell icon below your magician, which can then be cast by right-clicking and will fire where your mouse is positioned.

To cast a spell on yourself, press one of the eight keys to prompt a spell icon, then click your middle mouse button to self-cast. This works best when you cast Life to heal yourself, Fire to remove wet status (WIZARDS DONT SWIM!), and Water to remove flames for your robes.

Instead of firing something in a given direction, you can also create an area of effect (AOE) attack by Shift-Clicking.

Right or Shift clicking without any icons prompted creates a knockback effect (imagine omni-directional farts, basically) that pushes smaller enemies away from you.

Before I forget, if all else fails, you can beat people with melee weapons using Shift+Left Click. :D

Advanced Knowledge:

You can prompt up to five spell icons in a casting sequence. For instance, you can press A five times for a stronger lightning blast, or use A+S (Lightning plus Arcane) for a lightning laser beam.

There are spell books in game that will teach you special spells to aid you in your journey, but you don’t actually need to get the spell book to cast that spell. If you know the combination of icons that are required to fire off that spell, you can simply press the keys in sequence and activate that spell using the appropriate button, which can be a right or shift click, or the Spacebar. For example (TAKE NOTES!), A+S+F primes the Haste Spell. This spell is actually fired off by pressing Spacebar instead of right-clicking. It’s confusing, I know, but after a couple of minutes of using Haste, you’ll get used to spacebar and right click casting.

Even More Advanced Knowledge:

The people who made this game created a beast of a spellcasting system without explaining that some of the actual spell icons are created by combining OPPOSING elements. Remember what I said above about prompting up to five spell icons? Well, you can press more than five buttons to get five icons.

Take Meteor Shower, for example. Meteor Shower is a special spell that comes with a week-one purchase of Magicka. It is crazy powerful, but casting it is a pain in the butt. This is because to get Meteor Shower to actually get set up, you need to realize that Steam is one of the components of casting the spell. Here’s the secret: Fire and Water create a Steam icon. Meteor Shower is an icon combo of Fire+Earth+Steam+Earth+Fire. Thus, to prompt Meteor Shower, you need to press F+D+F+Q+D+F.

One more special combo from the forums now: Conflagration! Conflagration is composed of Steam+Fire+Steam+Fire+Steam. Imagine Dora the Explorer now, asking you if you know what to press to prompt Conflagration.

 

THAT’S RIGHT! F+Q+F+F+Q+F+F+Q!  You got it right! *hugs you*

Now, take this newfound knowledge and blow some goblin brains out, why don’tcha? Cheers!


Category: PC Gaming

The world of Magicka is a rather twisted one, it seems. The main bad guy of the game, from the way the story is presented, appears to actually be more of a prisoner than anything else, chained at the end of the world by a council of wizards who wanted to keep the “bad guy” from developing a super-powerful spell that would, essentially, create peace across the land.

Your first task as a magician? Why, to stop by the farewell party the other magicians are having without you. They even finished the goat cheese before you could get there!

Magicka obviously doesn’t take the game world and setting too seriously, which is refreshing to note in this day and age where every game world you’re in is ultimately in peril. In the world of Magicka, the world has been in peril at least thrice in the span of one magician’s lifetime! They have a horrible track record of maintaining the peace, probably because they chained up the guy who wanted to develop a spell to end all strife.

I digress, of course. Let’s get to the meat, bones, and other choice exploding bits of this game. Once you’re able to find your way out of the magic academy to take on enemies, you’ll realize that combining spell elements together to create flaming balls of butt-kickery and icy death rays is a good idea. Compared to single-element attacks, your damage increases far better with spell element combos, such as fire and arcane, or my favorite, cold-arcane.

My run so far consists of the first three chapters of the game, all done solo, as the game’s multiplayer is a bit buggy at the moment. The game doesn’t care how many people you’re playing with though, because it still promises to give you tense moments of running and casting and bomb-avoiding and dying. It’s just more possible to die (hilariously, perhaps) due to friendly fire with more people in-game.

The game isn’t perfect though. There are points of game slowdown on the rig I’m running, which can run other games without a hitch on relatively high settings. The spell system, while fun to play, appears to reward unbridled use of offensive element + arcane combos, as they create death rays that pump up damage quickly, allowing you to take down single opponents faster and reposition. Fireball damage is a bit weak as well, though it hits far more people.

Much like any magician though, I’m sure that more time spent playing Magicka will result in the game casting its spell over me. I only hope that spell is a healing light and not some infernal death ray come to smite me for not coming up with better words to describe the game.


Back in September of 2010, I wrote about how I found myself falling prey to gaming hype and how I seemed to gravitate towards games with the purpose of becoming a pundit of sorts. I’ve altered my stance on the the idea of becoming a force to be reckoned with in the game blogging world (there are far better things to worry about, like finding a job, falling in love, and learning how to manage finances). Since then, I’ve noticed I’ve been making a rather large number of gaming purchases, which worries me somewhat.

The ever lessening time I spend affixed to one game (a month ago, I was playing Guild Wars, then two weeks ago, Everquest 1’s trial, and now, I just bought Dead Space and Magicka on Steam) makes me think that I am less of a gamer because I do not love gaming, per se, but rather have grown to love the idea of a game.

This is worrying because I have yet to find a job. This is also worrying because it’s a waste of money that could be accruing interest in the bank. This is worrying because falling in love with the idea of something, ANYTHING, instead of the reality that is there makes me think I haven’t grown as a person.

Around seven or eight years ago, I was enrolled in a mandatory college class for religion (Catholic universities like the one I went to have mandatory religion subjects to foster personal growth in students) called  Marriage and Human Sexuality. One of the things I learned in that class was that there’s a difference between loving someone and falling in love with someone.

According to that class, you can fall in and out of love with someone, and that feeling you get when you fall in love might seem genuine, but can quite possibly be a mixture of a crush with your own projections of what you want in a partner, which may not actually be in that person you’ve fallen in love with. Once the honeymoon phase is over, and the cracks begin to show in the relationship, the illusion reveals itself, and you fall out of love.

Back then, I realized that, lonely as I was, I knew I didn’t want to simply “fall in love” with a personal illusion of a woman I’d gotten to know. I wanted to love and accept someone for the good aspects and not-so-good aspects they had.

I thought I could extend that sort of thinking to all the different aspects of my life, which is why I try and take pains to think about the things I do or engage in. When it comes to gaming though, I feel like I never learned anything from my class back in college.

True, games and people are different things and I may be too hard on myself, but it doesn’t diminish the distress I feel when I think about how I buy games, play them for a short while, and then never finish them. It’s like I’ve fallen in love with the idea of the game, but found that my projections of what I expect that game to be do not mesh well with the reality of the game, and I shelve the game for failing my perceived ideal.

It’s a waste, and yet even with that realization in tow, I cannot help but still want to purchase new games with the hope that they will astound me and lead me to some great divine epiphany of awesome that I cannot comprehend but simply bask in.

It scares me to think I haven’t grown as a person. Perhaps I should give myself some credit for at least realizing that something might be faulty in my acceptance of hype and my constant failed relationships with games.

That said, I wonder if the ones who are truly fanatical about games can even see the deficiencies in the games they say they love. That blindness to truth seems even scarier than any issue I might have at present.


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XB67f61W9k]


Just a quick note for those folks who were wondering about Final Fantasy Type-0, which I talked about for a short bit a few weeks ago.

Siliconera reports that Final Fantasy Type-0 isn’t actually a new game, but rather, Final Fantasy Agito XIII sporting a new name. According to the report, Type-0 is set to become a spinoff of the Final Fantasy universe and will not be a part of the Final Fantasy XIII continuity anymore, seeing as there’s actually Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 to think about.

Final Fantasy Type-0 will be coming out in Japan this summer, and will span two UMD discs in length.


Due for release this year on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

This seems like a good incentive to finish FFXIII to me. Of course, if you hated the Final Fantasy XIII, you’d have reason to skip the sequel entirely.

What did you think of Final Fantasy XIII? Let me know in the comments, so I can debate the merits of Leona Lewis’ voice. :D

News comes from 4gamer.net via Destructoid.

 

EDIT: Siliconera has an update on this. According to what appears to be 4gamer.net’s Twitter account, a trailer for FFXIII-2 will be made available on January 20.


Breaking news folks.

Destructoid has just reported that the PS3 version of Valve’s upcoming game Portal 2 will allow players to not only play with PC and Mac gamers via Steam functionality (a first!), but also to play on the PC or Mac as well.

According to Valve, anyone who purchases Portal 2 for the PS3 will also get a free Steam play copy of Portal 2, which will work on the PC or Mac.

Feel free to check Destructoid for more details, and save up some cash for the PS3 version, why dontcha?


Category: PC Gaming, Portal

Over on Pid’s blog, The Meat Shield, is an intriguing question that touches on a lot of points that I’d think would be quite wonderful to discuss in a rational and civil manner. I shall attempt to do so, but will most probably devolve into spouting nonsense close to the end of this write-up. You have been warned.

Pid asks,

As a mature gamer (take that for whatever it is worth) would you be willing to spend a little extra cash on subscriptions to have access to a VIP server? Not to be elitist, but rather to get away from all the tots and twits for that matter! I imagine there would be some legal ramifications, but if you could get that ironed out, would it be worth it?

There are a couple of angles to look at his multi-part question as a whole, so let’s try tackling those angles, shall we?

1. The Nature of the Server

By this, I would have to ask, what constitutes a VIP server? Does paying a little extra allow folks added perks and whatnot, or does it simply raise another one of those hypothetical barriers to entry that I keep thinking about?

If there are no added features other than the ability to weed out people with less money, then I doubt it’d be a lucrative option for a company to take up. If there are substantial perks to maintaining a higher cost subscription, then it might be interesting to some people, but not if it goes over their allotted spending limit for gaming. I mean, one can simply turn off Barrens Chat (or its equivalent) by switching to a different channel or minimizing their Chat windows altogether, so why pay to get away from all the tots and twits?

2. Perceived Elitism

One issue that may arise from having a VIP server will be the stigma behind the denizens of that VIP server. To take a sci-fi analogy, imagine a VIP server as a seeming floating utopia that people who live on the land will think is either the promised land or an airborne Sodom and Gomorrah. People from the non-VIP servers may dislike a VIP player on the basis of perceived elitism, and vice-versa.

The most probable truth will be that a VIP server may weed out people who can’t afford the cost of VIP, and not exactly maintain an atmosphere of civility and grace that a utopia would presumably offer, since people are always prone to starting shit, for lack of a better term. In a nutshell, a VIP server will simply cause people to dislike other people based not only on differing personalities but also due to creating a “haves versus have-nots” situation, whatever that may imply to gamers.

3. The Victor Stillwater Angle

Victor Stillwater + ANY GAME = Instant Awesome.

Me not being able to afford VIP status = not awesome.

My blogger backlash = the spreading of outrage over my inability to play VIP = The downfall of VIP servers.

Solution: Give me free games and unlimited access.

While this is obviously a gross overestimation of my ability to influence the public and my ability to make things awesome, there is still a significant, vocal community out there that will condemn the very idea of a VIP server based on it being either an attempt to gouge consumers out of more money or for forcing some kind of segregation in the community.

I imagine this will lead to a lot of comparisons to Nazi Germany (Godwin’s Law), eventually leading to a “Rosa Parks situation” wherein someone who cannot afford to join the VIP server will join the VIP server anyway and never pay for the sub, thus getting arrested and shot by Spanish conquistadors in an open field.

That said, it might be interesting to have a VIP server, but I have doubts as to whether or not it will take off. At the very least, I find it impossible that they will allow for talking about Rule 34 on a VIP server, which would be a big step in stemming the tide of porn in the world.

 

EDIT: Stargrace notes in the comments below that Everquest actually had a VIP server back in the day, which means this isn’t a hypothetical anymore. In addition, Zubon pointed out that this has been a long-standing question, and his post back in 2007 reflects that. Take a look. :)


Category: MMOs, opinion

The venerable Alec Meer of Rock Paper Shotgun has a new interview up with Andrew Dice of Carpe Fulgur, the company that distributed Recettear to the game-loving masses.

In it are some updates regarding the sales of Recettear, the plans of Carpe Fulgur, and some talking points regarding the response to Recettear and their upcoming release Chantelise by gamers. Time may be money, but a couple of minutes of reading this interview will definitely be worth your while.

Cheers!


Category: PC Gaming

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