Tag Archives: 2016

Haven Editorial: Zacerons 2016 game awards

Zacerons 2016 game awards

2016 is officially over. Therefor I can now make a list about the best games and worst games of 2016. This list is proof that 2016 was good year indeed. The hand picked games from this list is all based on the ones I’ve reviewed this year.

2016

No man’s sky:

An under-engineered, over hyped piece of software. Which runs like a three eyed, one legged man, hobbling on thin ice. Needless to say it runs terrible and I can’t get it above thirty frames per second. Despite everything setting all the settings to low. There is also that terrible loading whenever I start the game. Despite what Hello games will have you believe. That pesky star journey is a loading screen. It even says, loading shaders at the bottom. Slow loading times is a good indication that the game code is crap.

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“Fix the damn performance issues already!”

Overwatch:

I still play it despite my short temper, questionable aiming abilities and my raging murder boner. It’s a game about holding an objective against colorful weirdos, with skills on par with mine. Whom are more concerned with chasing kills and trashing scenery, than to push the wagon up a hill. Yes it is fun, terrible and awesome, all at the same time. 

 

“Murder, death kill and chill.”

Everspace:

Rogue lite meets space exploration, with a high probability of fiery death. While being having an armada of murderous and very angry lizard people son my tail. As I traverse the randomly generated galaxy. It is the most beautiful rendition of space I’ve ever seen within a game.

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“How to make space look fantastic.”

Enter the Gungeon:

Charming and fun, where everything is a pun related to ammo or a gun. A game about exploring randomly generated dungeons and killing bosses, while trying to get the gun that can erase the past. Hard to wrong with a sizzling hot, table flipping bullet hell.20160420200000_1

 

“Fun with puns and guns.”

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun:

Ninjas flip out and kill people, it is a proven scientific fact. At least according the interweb. Around the time of fire arms, where the shogun ruled and Japan was almost peaceful. A cleaver ploy to reignite the war is brewing and a team of ninjas are set out to thwart it. Someone finally decided to make a top down stealth game, I’ve not seen many of those since Commandos was new.

20161209153853_1“Best stealth game of the year.”

Xcom 2:

Aliens have taken over the earth and the resistance needs my help, in order to liberate Earth. This game improves on everything the previous release did and a lot more.  Though adding a mission timer was probably not the smartest thing to do. Overall a fun turn based strategy game.

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“Damn aliens, always digging holes in my backyard.”

Owlboy:

It took nine years to get it done and I’d say it was worth it. It looks fantastic and is immensely  fun to play. Starring Otus; A boy, whom also is an owl, with a flying cape and several useful companions, fighting menacing mechanical pirates.20161030235823_1

Worth the wait

Redout:

Strap yourself into a rocked, held aloft with anti gravity. While trying to avoid a fiery death as the track blast by. It’s the fastest and most polished racing game I’ve played in 2016. It’s just fun speed through a loop at 300 km/t. The music is good as well and apparently it can be used with virtual reality.

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“High octane crash and burn.”

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Shadow of new despair:

Finally a proper EDF game on pc. A last I can smash the bug horde under my heels,  without slowdowns and horrible performance issues. It’s one of the few third person games where you actually face down an overwhelming horde of enemies. 20160725160931_1

“EDF! EDF! EDF!”

The Incredible Baron:

While not the most played game on my list, it does sport a very good soundtrack, which I’ve been listening to a lot. Especially when writing my list for games of 2016. The game it self is not bad at all and looks good. It’s just not my cup of tea. Despite the quirky fun characters.20160804095119_1

“Kick ass music.”

The Final Station:

All aboard the man train to Armageddon. It is a fun game about managing a train, explore abandoned locations and keeping passengers alive, while the nefarious plot unfolds.20160825001136_1

“Quit dying on me, I’m trying to adjust the cabin pressure.”

Clustertruck:

The floor is lava is a simple game about not touching the floor.  Only this time around the the floor is composed of speeding trucks and questionable physics. It’s fun as long as you can manage extreme first person platforming.20161003183511_1

Bird of Light

A very fun run and jump game, with a deep and slightly depressing story about a very real problem India is faced with.20160724194007_1

 

“Slow motion matrix jumping is awesome.”
May 2017 be an even better year for games than 2016.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Raptus 2016 and cosplay

Haven Editorial: Raptus 2016

A halo marine, still alive and kicking somehow

The charming little comic expo in small a city Known as Bergen. It’s a place with a heavy focus on comic books and quite famous artists. Such as the ever present and enigmatic Mike Collins. He is quite known for various super hero comics and drawing Dr. Who. Naturally he is not the only guest. Though a lot of the them are from European countries. Due to the popularity of Belgofranco comics. Such as Spirou and the Italian made Donald Duck comics. In the grand scale of the world, it is a tiny convention, however it still attracts some lovely and colorful people. People flock to this place in order to meet their heroes and get things signed. After all who woulden’t like to have his prop knife signed by the walking dead creator? All in all it is a long running and very awesome.

This year as many that came before, a cosplay competition was held. Where anyone in a costume has a chance to win fame and fortune. In most cases it is a gift card for the local geek store known as Outland. Unlike previous years, I took a last minute job as the cosplay competition judge, along with another fellow and one of My little pony comic artist. A lovely lady in some very alternative clothing. Regardless I threw myself into action at the last minute, with poor planning and rough plotting. By now You’ve probably realized that this did not go as well as planned. Several mistakes was made, but they where not made again. Fortunately for me there where a competition on Sunday as well. I did indefinitely better and was a lot more prepared. I know some of those with fancy bought costumes felt unfairly judged when it came to the outfit. However I usually put stage presence very high. Very few can pull it off. Which is why either Deadpool, Harlequin or the Joker ones usually win.

Therefor I decided to make a list over things I should take into consideration:

First of all there is the performance and stage presence. A competition is a show. Keeping it entertaining is key. To become the character and own it. however going onto stage, then bolt after two seconds is boring and bad. If nothing else strike a pose and hold it for at least 4 seconds. Because that is how you get good pictures!

Naturally the next point is stage presence. Some costumes can be quite elaborate and some just leaves no lasting impact. However there are still several points to judge by. Such as the seam quality and craftsmanship. Even commercially made products can be crap. In the end I value the effort and thought process that went into a cosplay project.

Plans and planning

This is starting to sound a little too much like American idol, so maybe awarding should be a bit more creative and interesting. Tough Raptus is not the best proving ground around. As cosplay usually plays second fiddle, is rushed and have terrible backdrops.

http://www.photo.yngvehegreberg.com/Archive/Cosplay/Raptus-2016/
Fight the horde!

Keep in mind, the second day at the outfit competition,everything went much,much smoother. Which is key, live, learn and improve.

Here is a gallery of picture taken during Raptus 2016, by Yngve Hegreberg

http://www.photo.yngvehegreberg.com/Archive/Cosplay/Raptus-2016/

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Pro Cycling Manager 2016

Racing is fun, we as a species loves to compete and loathe to lose. Yet very few of us have the time or the physique to actually be pro athlete.20160621153334_1Which is why we watch these events on the big screen, putting money and stock on the participants we want to win this darn thing. Be it  Le Tour De France or a more localized race, it all boils down to our will to win. Therefore there will always be a market for a good simulator game, such as the Pro Cycling manager series. Naturally I am a bit biased since I find that watching competitive sports bores me to tears.  It is one of the reasons I play games. I’m the kind of guy that likes to participate and if I cant do that, I’ll just find something else to do.

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Pro cycling manager caters to the cyclist crowd and the people who want to be in charge and to experience the thrill of watching a race whenever they feel like it. Though most of the time I spent watching spread sheets and clicking on menus and reading mail. Basically I had to mange a lot of things, such as the schedule, races, training, researching gear and much more.

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Once that is done I just hit continue and watch the days fly by. Until the calendar reach a day there is an even or a race. The pop-up windows during the transition is poorly implemented and blinks into existence in a way that really is annoying on the eyes.. Once I got to one of these bloody races, I could watch it unfold as an information sheet, or in real time 3d on the ground.

In this mode I can manipulate camera angles and hand out orders such as attack. A simple way of saying get ahead of the crowd. This mode has some serious issues and mildly amusing bugs. First and foremost the loading time is atrocious and my rig is fairly decent. I also had a case of the crowd spawning across the road. Not that this impacts game play at all, even if it’s most amusing. Every now and the commentator will chime in when a noticeable event occurs. After all accidents do happen and sometimes the cyclist will kiss the tarmac. Fortunately the commentator is not annoying or imposing which is a good thing. As for the sound effects and quality its quite decent indeed, especially the music. Then again there are only so many different noises a man on a bike can make. Unless he swears like a sailor due to an accident. Aside from the career mode where I had to manage a whole team until I ran the company to the ground or got tired of playing. Also feel free to add mods or custom races and events, there is a lot of extras and DLC out there. It is also compatible with steam workshop.

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There is a solo career as well, where I made a mostly custom cyclist that wants to make it into the pro circuits. Aside from the focus on one specific bicycler it is still a management game, with a crap ton of data spreadsheets. The multiplayer function is fairly decent and brings the ability to be social and competitive at the same time. A perfect time sink for an enthusiast. Personally I will not recommend this to anyone other than those that likes to play games and watch pro cycling in action. However Pro Cycling manager a fairly decent made game with some issues. However I have yet to encounter anything game breaking or game crashing. So all in all its a good management simulator.

pro

 

Lastly is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål H Sand