Tag Archives: Iron

Early Access: Avalon Lords: Dawn Rises

20160530112031_1 Avalon Lords: Dawn Rises is a multiplayer-only, real time strategy (RTS) game in Early Access. When I say multiplayer, only I mean that there is no single player story mode. There are only single player practice rounds. At the start of the game you choose one of five factions to join, each of which gives you a slight bonus to things like starting gold and reduced resource requirements for certain units. From here you can play three separate types of games:

1. Empire: This is the largest. It pits you against other players or AI for control of the world. You battle over different regions in the name of your faction. There are a lot of teams on the board and this game can take a while to play through.
2. Conquest: This is the standard match. You start with a castle and a few peasants who can build or harvest for you. You slowly build an army and take on other players or AI in practice.
3. Battle: You create an army list by choosing from several units, then you just send your army after your opponents.

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Playing against the AI is a huge pain in the ass, especially for someone who has rarely played RTS games. The AI builds much faster and more efficiently than you do. It can create huge armies very quickly and wipe you out by the time you create your first few units. I’m sure someone with much more experience in this genre could deal with the enemy a lot easier. However, since there is no way to change the AI difficulty, new players are for the most part shut out pretty early on. Playing the practice modes was about as much as I was able to do. Every time I tried to get into a human match the game reminded me that there were only 4 people playing. I waited in a queue for a while but was eventually unable to find a game.

In terms of game play, there really isn’t anything new or interesting here. Everything Avalon Lords does has been done already (and much, much better). The tech progression is fairly bog standard. You build buildings to get different units. You upgrade those buildings to get better units. You can build places that will research buffs for your units, or what have you. You have a central focus on gaining resources like iron, gold or wood with peasants in order to build. There’s really nothing in this game that you wouldn’t find in any other RTS. On top of that, the generic medieval theme has been done to death.20160531112829_1

The controls are finicky and unpleasant when you try to drag over a bunch of units to select them, or try to move the map to get to where you want. You sometimes end up on the complete opposite side of the map from where you intended. The developers have recently announced that they are making the game free-to-play. So in the future be wary of this game not only being out-shined by other RTS games (including many free ones), but also being filled with micro-transactions. This is speculation, so we’ll just have to see.

The most fun I had with Avalon Lords are the short battle games. Here you just choose units for your roster and send them out against your opponent. I found it was best to send them all in one large clump, since that’s mostly what your opponent will being doing. Here you just watch them all fight and die. Then the game ends, nice and simple. No resource management or building nonsense; just a quick fight. You can choose the configuration of your list so that you can have all archers or crossbowmen, or all weak sword guys, or heavy shielded guys…or any combination thereof. It’s over in under five minutes, and then you can do something else with your time.

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-Jordan Kamm-

Haven Review: Lego Avengers

logoFirst up 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.

Lego. Most of us grew up with these amazing little building blocks of joy. I know I did and I really enjoyed making up fantasy worlds with them. Speaking of fantasy worlds, Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers teamed up with Lego to create Lego Avengers, and I must say it maxresdefault-4-1449431835938is my first Lego game title.

Right off the bat it throws you into action and gives almost no guidance as to the controls; for the most part it expects you know what to do. I didn’t, but after a while I finally got a pop-up saying I needed to hold “B” and play as Hawkeye to shoot a Lego rope.

I was quite literally shooting things across a small river for nearly half an hour before figuring out what to do, and that wasn’t even the worst part. They’re is a vast degree of puzzle- solving involved to get past certain obstacles. It has left me confused and dazed, but to other players (hell probably even a ten-year-old) the game is a lot easier to play.

I’ve always been worried about the learning curve with the Lego titles after seeing many popular YouTubers, such as ZackScott play them and what I thought was easy wasn’t…but enough of my ranting about that.fgtv.dimensions.ny3_

The story is pretty good and it follows the plot with Age of Ultron which I really enjoy, and Lego Ultron just looks ridiculous in his design and it even gives me a good chuckle with his dialog.

I am really enjoying the twist Lego has been putting on cinematic movies and other famous characters. The game also sticks to the family-friendly regimen, reminding all of us that we have imaginations and that we should use them. It brings life to fantasy characters in a way both children and adults can enjoy.

Now the orchestra for the game sounds at times like it has been ripped exactly from the Avengers movies and I’m not sure if that was intentional. But either way, it fits for the theme of the game and stays true to its roots in that aspect. Although since it is a game, it expands upon the Age of Ultron story line a bit more. That is to say the story is still good, it’s just I feel like some of the places in it could be cut out.screenshot 2015-10-09 15.13.24.png

Voicing for the game is also spot-on and I really love how they brought the characters to life; most notably Iron Man. But I think a fault for the game lies in its reluctance to instruct newcomers on how to play a Lego title. Everything about the game is good, but that. Perhaps they will release a update and add a tutorial so that people like myself can get a better handle on the controls.

In the end I do recommend Lego Avengers for its great story-telling, its diverse characters and its great soundtrack. If you ever get the chance, I recommend picking up a copy.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
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Haven Review: Game of Thrones [Telltale Games]

First up 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.
TTG_GoT_Logo Game of Thrones, the popular hit show on HBO is based off George R.R. Martin’s epic novel series. Now Telltale has gotten in on “the game” with a title of their own. For those unfamiliar, Telltale Games is known for taking popular TV shows, stories and even other video games and creating a unique interactive experience around them.

In Telltale’s flavor of Game of Thrones you follow House Forrester as they aim to defend their precious Ironwood trees from rival House Whitehill. The Forresters plan on going to war after their Lord’s untimely death. As many other Telltale titles have shown, your actions influence the flow of the game. Who lives and who dies is directly up to you; choices determine everything.2787469-trailer_gameofthrones_ep2_20150122

In the game it’s up to you to maintain balance between your house and your people, but at the same time you must prepare for an upcoming battle with the Whitehills that will ultimately determine the fate of your house.

One thing I liked in this game was that you meet many mainstream characters, such as Geoffry. I’m kidding…I hate Geoffry and I’m glad he’s dead. But you do get to see Lord Tyrion and John Snow. At one point, one of the characters you play is forced to go to The Wall and becomes part of the guard there; defending the lands from giants and various other dangers that dwell beyond.first-telltale-game-of-thrones-trailer-confirms-tv_sp93.1920

Now I must admit that I’ve not read the books and I don’t follow the series religiously like a lot of people do, but I can say in this title there is a distinct lack of breasts to ogle at like a lot of people do. But I am guessing it’s because they had to keep this game playable for a variety of audiences. Not only is it available on consoles, but it’s also downloadable via Steam. So duly note that if you’re a fan of breasts, you will find none to speak of here.

Apart from the grand story accompanying this game, the soundtrack is also quite remarkable and it helps set the tone with its storytelling aspect. My only critique is that the Telltale system feels a bit dated in some places.lady-forrester

At the very start of the game, Lord Forrester asks you to do something. As you agree or disagree the game reports that his Lordship will remember your decision. Roughly two minutes later he is dead. If moments like this affect overall gameplay, and someone else remembers your actions because of it, I find it more than a little confusing.

The game is good, albeit tedious at times with its numerous quick-time events (QTE), mainly when you’re fighting for your life. But other than that it is pretty great, and if your a fan of Game of Thrones I recommend you pick up a copy (unless you’re in it just for the boobs, in which case you may not be interested at all).

-Daniel Clatworthy-
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