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Haven Reviews: Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Haven Reviews: Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe

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Open Transport Tycoon, is a ported and improved version of a very old management game. Unlike most such games there is a goal and that is to have the most of everything when the year 2050 has passed. The only way to lose is to file bankruptcy, which can be quite hard indeed.

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In order to start a business all one have to do is to connect a route from something that produce materials, that can be refined into goods. Such as building a railway from a forest onto a sawmill.
Or transporting people between places, everything else is just variations on the formula. However there is a lot more to it than that. Such as the ever so fun multiplayer mode.

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Anyhow I figured out some really fun ways to spice things up. Buying up land in front of someone establishing a railway. A bit costly but it will prevent that player from claiming a good spot.

Raising land under someones boat and watch the ensuing fireball.

But a really really devious one that is very hard to notice, is when someone have trucks going to and from a depot. By building the tiniest railway ever, its about six squares in total. The locomotive will go so fast, it fails to stop at the railroad crossing. Causing the car to get run through by a speeding train. Replacing the car with a pile of ash and a mushroom like explosion. Even more satisfying when your friend fails to notice it.

All is not well in the garden though. The screen will quickly be overrun by pannels and information. Not to mention the horrible scaling text and interface, whihc was made for a different time. In hte options menu the interface can be scaled a little, but it is still very annoying. THe same goes for the blue text at the bottom.

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Aside from that, there is also a fair share of accidents that can occur, such as fires, planes crashing and Xcom blowing up a ufo on your railroad. Trains also have the habit of colliding when more than one runs on the same track, when the signals fail.

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In Tycoon, trains can be use in exceedingly complicated and weird ways, due to the signals. Which is a meta game all of its own. After all at some point, there will be so much money in play that insane things can be built.

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Drawing a line from A to B with a train running on is the icing on the cake. Town that litter the map for example have some personality and limits on what they accept being built. Naturally there are a lot of ways to manipulate the town it self, such as setting up commute. Transportation causes them to expand greatly.

Transport Tycoon graphics are made up of nice and clean isometric sprites. With several environmental themes to pick from, such as the candy land one. A real eyesore, but fun non the less. Meanwhile in game music are composed of loud chip-tunes. With a big variety of styles to pick from.

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Not to mention the scenario editor that’s a vital part of the experience. There are many, many devious maps, but most of them try to recreate real world locations. These can be downloaded directly from the various games menus, along with various AI and a bucket load of custom game settings. Which makes this a lovely cocktail for the grand price of free. Regardless of how fun I find Ottd it’s still a timesink.

.Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Two arrested at Pokemon World Tournament

pokemonworldTwo men were arrested at the Pokemon World Championships in Boston, USA following a tip off from security staff.

The two men who were due to compete in the finals were eighteen year old Kevin Norton and twenty seven year old James Stumbo.631x__medium They drove from Iowa to participate in the event but have since been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as other firearms the Boston Police have stated.

Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald, Commander of the Boston Police district’s Bureau of intelligence and analysis, praised the Pokemon staff for their commitment to the safety of the players at the event.

He went on to describe the arrested pair and their weapons as a very real threat.

“The BPD detectives and collaborating agencies did a great job in the stop and prevention of a potential tragedy,”

He said and earlier this week James Stumbo had posted a picture of his car with two guns on the boot on a Facebook post at the start of the week. 1399733205780156819

The championships, which took place at the weekend were invitation only and usually brings in roughly four hundred thousand entries each year according to the Pokemon Company.

The best players in the TCG and handheld divisions from more than thirty different countries take part in the event competing for top prizes of scholarship money, trophies and merchandise.

Personally I am happy that everyone is okay, being a old Pokemon player I have had to deal with bullies and trouble that has come along before but. Seeing as how it was actual players that wanted to start trouble this time it sits very unsettling for me.

Let us come to terms with this we got to thank Pokemon Company for keeping everyone safe and understanding that people like this will continue to come in and try to ruin things and all we can do is hope and pray as well as prepare that none of which we fear will come to pass in other games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic the Gathering and event big venue gatherings not to mention Pokemon again..

Its like if Comic-Con was attacked by gunman but for Pokemon players. To help give everyone a solid idea of just how bad it could be. Hopefully though other companies like Konami, and Wizards will take heed to how Pokemon Company handled this situation and have a plan for it as well as Comic Con.

As for the players in question who would go out and do something like this, I feel a great pity for them. They had the potential to actually participate in this but choose to take the latter path and almost ruined the fun for everyone. I hope those two understand that is not how you handle any situation at all. A peaceable solution is the best solution and those who aim to hurt others in the end will only hurt themselves…

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Haven Review: The Secret World

First up is our disclaimer.  We got this game because we wanted to review it, and as such
all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

header_early_access-612x337The Secret World…despite EA being involved at one point or another and that being a major turnoff for some is actually quite good. The game does have it faults, and a big one for me is the leveling system.

There is no level cap, and as such you never stop getting better with skills, abilities, and weapons. The way it works is that you gain AP and SP as you level-up. The AP goes mainly into skills and the SP goes primarily into weapons.

Skills are what generate damage in the game. Unlike in traditional MMORPGs, where the laws of point-and-click afford natural repetitive attack, the Secret World requires you to place abilities on a “hot bar”. For those unfamiliar, it’s the buttons marked “1” through “9” on your keyboard.

In combat you press the key corresponding to an ability, which gets tiresome after a while. Unlike many MMORPGs that include detailed tutorials, this game starts you off with only a smattering of basic know-how, before sending your very unprepared self out into the cold, zombie-rich environs.the_secret_world_gc_screen_5

What’s more, the opening sequences dump onto players a tremendous amount of lore to memorize.  There are three vying factions, each keeping secrets from the other two, and some even from members of their own faction.  There is a story about a weapon powerful enough to destroy the entire world…nothing more for now. Additionally, to move between locations you must find a giant tree in another dimension and carefully walk among its branches. It’s like having a nightmare within a dream. There’s no sugar-coating it.

The game’s community is great, as long as you define “great” as having precious few helpful members. At one point I was trying to figure out how to craft an item, so I asked around for advice. Help arrived about 30 to 40 minutes later. I was grateful, but I’d forgotten the original question by then.

Another huge issue in the game is how often you need to use Google. Knowing the Latin language is at times a must to progress through the story and side-quests. This is particularly annoying during timed events. In any case, expect to fail and die a lot.

Aside from the language barrier, there are many puzzles to solve and missions to complete that require knowledge of bible verses from the New King James testament, or song numbers from Gospel hymns. No joke…and we’re still only in Chapter 1 of the game! It’s here that we meet Men in Black, Zombies, Draugr, evil wizards, and the power to destroy the entire world…oh yes, and to slay gods.TheSecretWorldDX11-2012-07-11-17-40-17-011

Ultimately, does The Secret World deliver on being a vastly different MMORPG? The answer is a simple straight forward, yes. My only real issue with the game is simply you cannot download it through Steam if you have a Funcom license key, but you CAN do it the other way around. They even went as far as to integrate the Funcom servers with the Steam servers so everyone can play together.

Is The Secret World worth checking out, now that it’s “pay once, play forever”? Yes. Is the game “pay to win”? No. You can boost your AP by purchasing bonuses, but there is no real benefit in that because it can be earned as you play. Remember, too that AP simply unlocks new abilities. The amount needed to unlock every ability totals into the hundreds of dollars, if purchased.

But for the price, I would give The Secret World a try, even more so if you love puzzles and a massively multi-player online role playing experience.

-Daniel Clatworthy-