Tag Archives: Gamers-Haven

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

In the in fourth first century there can be only war and that is one thing Warhammer Dawn of War has always done right. From a visual standpoint the latest installment looks lovely and units are very well defined. The environment looks very bad in a good way. Since the theme is war and destruction., every thing is ruins and mostly gray and brown. With an every increasing pile of broken bodies and bags of blood. As for the music, it’s moody, instrumental with a touch of heroics. With decent sound effects and it’s easy to pick out the different audio ques. Every unit has a heavy British accent that fits the Warhammer universe quite well. Technically there is a rock paper scissor logic going on, where each squad has various active abilities to lob at heretics and xenos alike. Business as usual, it’s also possible to summon various heroes that has abilities of their own and a quite commanding presence on the battle field. Which brings me to a very annoying and very true problem with games such as these. Micro management from a hell. Some units such as the snipers has to deploy, while some are meant purely for close quarter combat. Some are back line and others are mobile. Combine this with a bit sluggish response times and clunky path finding, where you have to rapidly switch between units to gain the best effect. Sure I can just clump them into a big pile and right click, but that only works against stupid people. A rare commodity in a real time strategy game. Combine that with having to click on various buildings to order units, upgrades such. It does become a handful and quite vexing indeed.

In the open beta of Dawn of War 3 there is only one game mode, where the goal is to crush the power core. Where point capture is key to gaining resource acquisition points. Which in turns summons units. No longer can squads be replenished, they have to be near a base building to do that. Each match gives experience points and skulls that can be used to learn new abilities and special orders for the heroic units. Along with some pr-order bonus skins and some skin that unlocks with level. I can’t say anything about the story mode as it is not part of the beta, it’s purely multiplayer at the moment. However I’m not convinced that Eldar has any chance what so ever to with most engagements. Especially since they are not built for defense. For the most part it feels like the Ork stomps all, eventually. It’s not bad game, just not my cup of tea. Too much micro.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Pokemon Reborn

Haven Reviews: Pokemon Reborn

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My less than glamorous Pokemon journey started with a blast; Some insane terrorist decided to blow up the train I was riding on. The nerve of some people. The call of adventure lured med into the region of Reborn. Little did I know that this place is a rundown carphole. A depressive and run down place. Where nature has run wild and the once tranquil Azure lake has turned into a toxic mire. There are more Muck in there than Magicarp, which is saying a lot.

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If you are reading this, then you are probably quite familiar with Pokemon already. Never the less here is a rundown.

Reborn is a fangame, which is in no way affiliated with Nintendo. However if this was an official release it would certainly bring the franchise to a new level. Story wise it follows the exact same set up. A trainer starts his journey with one Pokemon, which he use to capture more creatures. Which are used to fight gym leaders and a nefarious gang of thugs with an agenda. However unlike the mainstream games, this one is hardcore. It enforces the rules I seldom had think of and forced me to play outside my normal comfort zone. 16-11.png

The silver lining is that I could pick any starter. Amongst these rules I never payed much attention to, is the level cap on the badges. If I have only kicked the grass of one gym leader, then I can’t get a high level Pokemon to obey me in battle. Normally the camp is quite high, but with twice the number of gym leaders it become very tricky. If I have two badges, the level limit is 35. While Three is 40. This means that I can’t power level my way through them at all. Not only that but the move set and the Pokemons they use, is pulled straight out of competitive it seems. Besides that there is not that many Pokemon to find early on, that is not poison or normal type. Though I did get an appreciation for the toxic spike ability and the ways of using Trubbish in combat. All the special Pokemons are found all over the place, be it an abandoned building, grass or random events. They are all over the place. I feed my team with common candies to decrease their level, in order to have them obey me. A fun challenge but hard.

Though that being said, the most interesting feature is the field effects, which boost certain types. Within a forest, grass type will be strong, until I set the field on fire. This interaction holds true for all the other types as well in Pokemon.

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In most Pokemon games the music is a mixed bag, cant say I really like the music most of them. However the Reborn music is just up my alley, oh so catchy and cool. To me that is. Where the game fails a bit, is the inconsistency of the environment sprites. Some of them does not match the esthetics and are clearly out of place. Though it did not deter me from playing, It is highly recommended for any fan. But be warned the story is much, much more darker and serious. With some people dying amongst other things. Since it is made with RPG Maker, it runs fine on PC and can be found with a quick search.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Herald

 All good stories have a start and Herald starts with a splash, as the main character is drowning, while drooling on as he starts narrate. He eventually wake up in an exotic palace place of sorts, with lush pillows and a wise woman whom want some information. And thus begins the story of the poor waterlogged sod, as he recalls his epic voyage across the seven seas.

Herald is a fairly competent put together adventure game. With a pleasant to look at, complimented by a very colorful art direction and a handful of colorful characters. Which fills Herald with life and charm. The point and click part is a great departure from the way most story heavy games deals with events. After all it will get a bit boring to listen to the people going on and on. That being said, there is a lot of voice acted dialogue and much text to be expected.

For some very questionable reason our illustrious leader, decided to hand me this review copy. Despite my issues with how slow the story progress. Which is very ironic coming from someone who has played through Final fantasy 8 several times and most of the Metal Gear Solid games. Then again this is a purely subjective point of view.

The voice actors does a fairly decent job and competent job, when bringing the emotional range of the characters to life. At least for the most part at time they do talk way too slowly, despite the situation at hand. Even if it brings a certain charm to it all, the dialogue is incredible slow and tedious for the most part.

Herald also sports some lovely drawn cut scenes helps to bring it all to life. Though a combination of fully animated 3d models and several hand drawn scenes. Though dialogue can be a bit awkward, as the one whom is currently talking is shown on the right side of the screen. Much like a muppet, with dramatic eye movement and some facial expressions here and there. However there are not much in the way of mouth animation when anyone talk. It is also very refreshing to see such a varied cast, showing of the fantastic variety of people the world has to offer.

Some animations are a bit hit or miss, sometimes those pesky buggers stand around looking weird and unfocused, while other times people in Herald look like they actually have a purpose. Such as the poor fellow puking at the side of the ship. Or that one crew member swabbing the floor.

A historical inspired dram, with many choices that may or may not have an effect on the story. In between the story events, there are a lot of interactivity, through pointing and clicking. Where objects can be looked at, along with an encyclopedia to find info about almost everything. Some blood and sprinkled with violence is to be expected. But due to the nature of the game, it’s not something that should scar or scare anyone.

Highly recommended for people whom like an intriguing mystery and visual novel storytelling, that’s more than just flashy images and walls of text.

Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this.

Njål Sand