Tag Archives: Gamers-Haven

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

Tabletop Review: Paranoia – Trust your friend the Computer

As a follow up to my wonderful time at Regncon, I will regal you with a tale of Paranoia. A table top game I played for several hours with a random gang of fantastic fellows. With a very fun and good game master.

But before you can continue with the article make sure you have ultra violet clearance. Anyone without the proper clearance will is considered a terrorist and will receive a summary execution.

Always follow the rules if alpha complex and the computer is your friend. Happiness is mandatory.

*Spoilers* ultra violet clearance reading this is considered treachery. You won’t disappoint friend computer will you?

I started of by exiting a cloning chamber, putting my feet on the cold floor. As a TOS pops up in front of my face. Introducing me to the wonders of friend computer and the joys of working in alpha complex. Quite outrageous really. I had to click yes on a pop-up window in front of my eyes. This annoyed me a lot, so I opted to poke the guy next to me in the ear instead. He was very distraught about that, so I did it again instead of ticking of yes. There system did not like this one bit and a pesky terrorist star popped up over my name. Apparently five turns you into an enemy of friend computer. As we wetter getting out bearings, a horrible rumble shock the foundation. So I headed for the door, but before I could exit a very rude lady in red came offside inside and demanded that I put on a black jumpsuit. seems like being dressed in mosaic bars is not acceptable. Since I’m infrared and all. We were also handed a standard issue mop. Which I was explicitly told had to be taken good care of it.

Outside I came into a long corridor, where a slightly inoperative cleaning bot sat and whined, barley moving. As a gang of reliable trouble shooters, we decided to do the best we could go help the poor thing. I kicked it very hard, twice. Only to be greeted with a horrid sound. One of the other fellows decided to talk to it, hoping that the poor sod could tell us. It simply replied with another whine. At this point another fellow pushed his hands in under the machine. To see if he could wriggle out the thing that was stuck. The bloody machine nearly took his hands off instead. We decided to push it towards maintenance instead after a friendly suggestion from friend computer. Suddenly a wild terrorist appeared running towards us. Which caused one of the others to squeeze his ever wet sponge, pooling up a puddle on the floor. Which caused the five star terrorist to take a nasty stumble. Followed by a nasty beat-down until he died. For the good deed he got rewarded with exp. Whatever that is.

Paranoia is the latest iteration of the game. Which does the best it can to combine witty dark humor and the everyone is out to get you mentality. Backstabbing is to be expected followed by brutal murders, no matter how inconsequential the task. 

The character creation is an interesting affair. Pick a skill your good at, such as athletics +2, which will then cause the one left of you to have -1 to that stat. Until at least 5 skills have been picked. Then pick three adjectives to describe your character. Which you then pass over to the person on the left hand side, so he can reverse one of the adjectives. Such as nice is turned into mean instead. 

Meanwhile skill checks are done with six sided dices, where one is friend computer. Take the skill, combine it with a stat above and roll the combined sum worth of dices. To dodge, you can use athletic and violence. Every time a five hits five our six, it counts as a success. Even if the computer notice you. Being seen is bad and removes a point of moxie. Lose eight and you’ll go of on the deep end.

Eventually mutant powers manifest as well. Which is handed out by the GM and is represented with cards. Doing good and positive things brings exp, which can increase skills or number of clones. You’ll be number one in no time. It’s not like the other people in the party will put a knife in your back and take the glory for your accomplishments.

Gear, mutant powers and the rest of the goodies comes in a pack of cards. We never really touched on combat, and ran a simplified version. Apparently the game box comes with a GM screen, a funny clones introduction manual to alpha complex and a booklet with a very tongue in cheek adventure, which I roughly introduced above, and a stack of character sheets. After all I can’t spoil all the fun. Unless you want to.

Njål Sand