Haven Reviews: Sonic Forces

BilderesultatSonic Forces me to make a totally radical original character (Don’t steal). It’s no longer enough for the blue blur and his band of rebel buddies, besting Badniks. In the name of liberty. Robotnik has taken over the very world itself and rebuilt the humongous death egg. A giant planet sized ball of Eggman Ego, adorned by his disgustingly distinct face. They also need a show stealing Mary/ Gary Su to hog almost all the action.

Sonic Forces is about war. Where the pastel coloured cretins of the planet, rises up against the robot army, to liberate the land once more. Naturally the only ones that can save the day is New Sonic, the totally over powered OC and the classic Sonic.

They did not learn much from Shadow did they? The overwhelmingly over powered OC comes with a burst gun and a grappling hook. Which work as the homing attack. It’s very graphically polished and has decent animation.

The game is very short, quite fast and have very few if any game breaking bugs. But it’s a very boring experience, with very little, if any replayability. Most stages have at least five red star rings and a timer. Getting a good score, results in a S ranking or higher, which unlocks the largest collection of clothes. The Sonic Forces OC creation process is simple. Pick a gender, pick a body type. Equip a pair of eyes. Pick various colors and start dressing the character up. I found the whole procedure very lackluster and quite boring indeed. Since all the parts are presets. Which means I can’t make a mangled, mutated monstrosity of a man porcupine.No automatic alt text available.

The story plays out much like a poor fan fiction, written by someone child inspired by Sonic SatAM. All the other characters of the story is weak and pointless. Hell, they even think Sonic died at the beginning. The most positive thing I can say about the music is how forgettable it is. It’s there, I don’t like it one bit, but it never gets in the way of gameplay. 

That’s where the level design comes into play. It’s bland, boring and bad. Uninspired and I swear I’ve seen several of the set pieces before. Classic Sonic is a lesson in frustrating gameplay. As he romps around in a side scrolling perspective, with poorly placed peons everywhere. Not to mention the issues I had with precision platforming. I also have to mention that cutscenes can’t be seen by Twitch viewers on Xbox One. At least they look nice and the voice acting is not terrible. Will not play again. It’s not bad for a 3d Sonic Game, it’s just mediocre.

No money was exchanged for this review, all opinions are my own.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Running Red Alert on Windows 10

I love Command and Conquer, but EA shafted that franchise rather hard. Yet the games can be bought in a neat package at Origin. Electronic arts game platform. However making the older game run is a chore. 

Windows 10 64 bit is not the intended architecture at all. Even more problematic to record any gameplay what so ever. But I did find a workaround. One that can not be done with the origin version.

But first let’s look at the annoying issues.
Tiberean dawn can for the most part run, with the dangers of crashing. Compatibility mode is not very helpful here. Same rings true for Red Alert. Technically there exist an open Ra, which has a new engine and most of the missions. But I never got that bugger to work more than once.

There also exist a fan patch that even works with Dune 2. With custom resolution, but it crashed, then refused to start.

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Alt tab out of the games is a no go. The screen goes black with the sound still playing. I sincerely though the idea of using Origin was to make the games playable on modern systems.

Red Alert 2 has issues with a black screen that I fixed with a custom fan patch. It’s still very unstable and likes to tab out on its own and then refuse to enter the game again.

Multiplayer is no problem at all with Yuri’s Revenge, since CnC net fixes all of that. A quite good fan fix. Does not with well with the story mode though.

Command and Conquer renegade was an almost flawless experience. But as we all know almost is seldom good enough. It decided to crash after a while and the game could have been a bit better in the first place.

I have yet to fiddle around with Tiberian Sun, which is a fantastic game, but a bit poorly programmed and almost as neglected as an orphan.

The easiest way is to install Virtual Box, get Windows XP, then set it up to run virtually with Windows. In window mode, then record the window. For this to work I had to install the disc version of the games. Because the Origin version refuse to let me play then without the software itself installed.

This solution allows software like Obs (open broadcasting software) to record and stream Command and Conquer games without too many problems. It took me a lot of time to find the solution, but it works wonders. Or you could emulate the PSX version of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert, which runs at 15 fps, but has superior audio quality on the music.

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Destiny 2 – A very Unexpected adventure!

Now, for the last few years I have watched the hype of Destiny grow to exponential proportions and I never once had a chance to play the game, despite owning a copy and all the DLC (Long story). But since I had some downtime while sorting through the mess which is my life, I got a lovely review copy of Destiny 2 from our friends over at Activision and finally got to try it out.

I love it, I honestly wish I boarded the hype train with everyone else a while ago. The game shares remarkable similarities to a lot of the game titles I have enjoyed over the years and is simplified much to how I would design a game and yes, I have designed a few games in my time.

Its weapon system is basic, like very basic there are probably at least three to four different types of armors for each rarity for each class. So four green, four blue, four legendary and four exotic. I may be wrong on this but after getting four days worth of grinding in to get my power level up to 280, I have noticed an awful lot of similarities in all the armors.

However, this isn’t a bad thing it just means you got to pick the equipment you want and like and just power it up rather than keep picking up new armors and throwing out the old armors. The game focuses more on the key element of appearance rather than functionality, because almost all armors at least for the Hunter have pretty much the exact same function and it doesn’t really change. So go ahead and make your outfit look good, the other pieces of armors will probably do the same thing anyways.

The same goes for the weapons, not just the armors. The weapons have basically the same functions as the guns in Borderlands, its a gun except they can add the bazillion different guns in front simply because of the power levels for each gun or effects making them all individually unique effect being used in this case of elemental property.

Now, I know this similarity is a bit crass but its still accurate. I love the Sparrows you get, it reminds me so much of Firefall with the vast open area’s you can explore and traverse, Destiny probably came first but Firefall was free and available to me so I could play it and I absolutely loved the ability to do that. It was even more fun for me to do sick tricks in the air with just like the latter and it is incredibly enjoyable.

But I think despite the mechanics, from riding a Sparrow, or customizing your character the things I enjoyed the most was the story of the actual characters. Cadye (voiced by Nathan Fillion also!)  being my favorite to the point where if you put the two of us together in a room. We would never shut up, because of how similar we are. (Friends noticed it also.)

The story in this game alone feels solid, but from what my friend was telling me since I never played Destiny, I kinda switched off during the time traveling robots. So I fear this is something I cannot connect too yet simply because this title is its own title, and I am jumping into the middle of it without playing or knowing ANYTHING about Destiny.

But I think the thing, the one key element I enjoyed about the game, about the entire time playing it was and has definitely got to be the musical composition. I love, the soundtrack. I have never had in any of the previous games I have played had a musical score make me feel so much as I played through the title with my friends, and colleagues fighting Vex, Cabal, and the Fallen.

The game is good, from its vast open area’s loaded with visual porn in ways that just make you stop and admire everything that’s been put into this title. It’s unique characters, its witty dialog, and simple yet enticing game play mechanics. Games like these are a rarity now a days even more so if its a triple A title and they are pushing hard to get it out. Making the game more about the experience rather than cheap shoddy work to make money.

However, the competitive side of the game should be tweaked a bit.
Despite the player power cap being well, capped in such area’s as the Crucible item effects aren’t and if you haven’t been lucky enough or skilled enough to get special items such as the MIDA guns or Foetrackers you can be at a bit of a disadvantage. Although a good well balanced team can fix a lot of these issues and skill can outshine item effects easily.

This is what a game should be, from the adventures with friends, to a story you can enjoy by yourself, the game is really amazing. In conclusion the game is amazing, and I absolutely love it, from its musical score, to is mechanics, and overall game play, with very minor things being barely noticeable, hell its not even pay to win, any money you put it for bright engrams is solely cosmetic or maybe a slightly faster sparrow and even then you can get them by leveling up once you go beyond level twenty the cap level.

I even managed to get a few, But like I was saying the game is good and despite the scenery being a bit linear in places it brings that atmosphere that people want, i’ve found myself just listening to the music in the game and the ripples of the water on the farm because its enjoyable, and it makes me yearn for a chance to experience things like that in real life.

But despite all the positive things I got to say about it, I should point out the loading screens are annoyingly long, and serve only as gloat material to show off your ships, on the PC it crashes quite a bit and I have been stricken with error code buffalo a lot. Not to mention the game will suddenly and without warning just exit to the desktop for no apparent reason. But despite all these issues,

I love it.

-Daniel Clatworthy
(Team Note: Zaceron hates the suicide enemies in the HIVE and Vex, and Invixs thinks the story is very lack luster in comparison to the first game, and we all experienced bugs that made playing the game far more challenging than it should have been.)

A safe haven for anyone and everyone.