Tag Archives: RPG

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

Haven Review: The Surge

The Surge, now in terms of action rpg’s this game has it made with a chance to upgrade the various battle frame  parts you can get in it, as well as the exo-skeleton itself. However, I got to say this the story for me has been a tedious bore and combat itself feels very unbalanced to the point where it doesn’t even seem fair.

Like the Technomancer its combat Is best suited for one on one, but ends up for the most part being four to five vs one, the one being yourself and it doesn’t necessarily work out very well for you.
However I will point out that as you progress slowly through the game it does get easier getting pieces of equipment and upgrading your equipment to make combat easier but how long and how drawn out It can get makes the game more enjoyable as a means to kill time than a overly enjoyable fun to play title.

I will give the developers points though the very start of the game was very enjoyable and the level design was also very nice. I even found the starting story where you are a handicapped person trying to get his life back on track and also help the world really great, even up to the point where (spoiler alert) you got the exo-skeleton drilled directly into your body while you were conscious and had neither a sedative or anesthesia to put you to sleep.

Now, breaking it down the combat involves a lot of timing and dodging as most action RPG’s would have, keeping a close eye on your stamina meter to make sure you don’t run out of stamina and know also when to strike back at the enemies, like your battle frame parts you can acquire different pieces of equipment as you play through from a simple wrench, or some really amazing hidden weapon in the first stage. Each weapon has its own attack patterns, and attack speed so mastery of this compiled with knowledge of the combat system with dodging ect is crucial.

What could easily start out as a simple one on one fight could easily also turn into a multi-enemy combat situation. Which helps make this a lot more complicated, and the biggest issue is that the enemies don’t scale up properly as you fight. Even if you spend all of one stage grinding out to max out your equipment as high as it can go for that stage. When you start in the next level you will already be under leveled.

I ultimately ended up finding a exploit in the game to help scale me up to get extra life to make progression easier and even that didn’t make gameplay any easier for me. It should be worth mentioning that like a RPG you can get equipment with special properties and with that equipment you can have set bonuses such as increased speed, increased health, durability or removal of stamina restrictions. This can be helpful at times, but it still doesn’t fully aid in the situation you are faced with in combat.

I do however like the upgrading system, as you fight through the game you can lop off a enemies arm or leg, or even behead them for a higher chance of getting a equipment drop from them or a material drop that goes to that part of the body. So getting materials to upgrade your equipment is fairly easy, as is using the base scrap you get.

Now the base scrape you get is used not only in upgrading your weapons, and battle frame parts but also your power core in general. The higher your power core goes up the more passive bonuses you can get from “chips” you get along the way for a deeper level of customizing. Some chips give a passive bonus to increase your help equal to the level of your power core. So powering up your power core can be quite beneficial at times.

Now besides my negative input on the combat for the game, the sound track and the controls for the game are actually quite fluid and I really find those to be quite enjoyable, it is not very often you find a game with controls as fluid as The Surge has, not even the Technomancer had controls that were that well programmed.

Don’t get me wrong, the only real issue I encountered in The Surge was its combat, outside of that I’ve kinda blown quite a few hours just goofing off and exploring. It even gives you the opportunity to learn more of the story through audio tapes and not some wall of text which helps add another level of immersion to the title.

In conclusion, The Surge is a good title, not one of the best but good and definitely not something I would recommend to a child. The game even has a New Game+ feature so you can keep playing making it even harder to advance if you are into that.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Reviews: several Good Old Games

Haven reviews: Several Good old games. GOG is a fantastic service that breathe new life into old titles, which may or may not run properly in new operating systems. Most of that has to do with the original game code being crap and a general lack of compatibility. Some games run fantastic even on Windows 10, while some will only run on a specific OS and some does not run at all. This is a short list of several games I bought from GOG.

Blood: One unit whole blood

It’s violent, filled with blood, mutilations and monsters. It’s a old school fast phased first person shooter, with some inventive weapons and some great sprites. The GOG release comes with the original music and the FMW sequences. Which has not aged well at all. The 3d graphics looks worse than my first attempt at modelling. Which is quite jarring, since the in game graphics are quite good, with detailed sprites. Each level has an unique design and theme, heavily inspired by horror movies. A froze Johnny can be found in a hedge maze. While the game supports different resolutions, they may or may not work entirely as intended. At least they’re there. There is only one big issue and that is the music. It can’t be turned muted, turned down or stopped. Especially in the amusement park the music is loud. Not sure if GOG can fix this.

Swat 4

It’s a game about breaching doors, busting criminals and rescue civilians. Where the biggest question is why that guy ignore teargas and where the devil a suspect dropped his gun. The Ai is questionable, but the levels are fun, with random perp placement. It runs, looks okay for the most part and sports a terrible aspect ratio. However it does come with the expansion pack. The game itself runs fine, minus one place where it had stuttering and slowdown. Apparently there are mods to improve the game. Such as the elite forces mod, that takes the realism up several notches and adds more features.

Sim City 4

Build a town, run the town, play mini games to keep earning more money. Then call in a meteorite and nuke it all to hell. Just for fun. While juggling traffic jams and air pollution. It’s fun, addictive and a great educational game, when it comes to city management and all the problems that comes with it. Runs fine, looks fine and it works.

Roller Coaster Tycooon 2

Run and operate a custom built amusement park. Build attractions and kill guests with a badly designed roller coaster. It’s a seriously fun management games, with many fantastic features. However the sprites and the interface is almost impossible to see. Since everything is so small. Usually these old games have too large interfaces if anything.

Outlaws

Lucas art made a game about a sheriff trying to rescue his wife from a big man, with a lot of money. It’s a first person shooter, with some fantastic levels, questionable physics and a insane difficulty. The dynamite has some of the worst physics I’ve ever encountered in a game. It’s also prone to random crashes.

Alien Breed: Tower Assault

Your ship has crashed and the place is over run with alien monstrosities. It has coop, challenging levels and limited ammo. With enemies that spawn in your face a lot of the time. It runs great and has a cheesy as hell intro movie. It’s top down and easy to play, very hard to complete with several paths to take.

Anachronox

A gum shoe detective has an office on the top floor of a seedy bar, set on a very odd planet. it’s a turn based RPG game, with a great story, some really interesting characters. But is littered with so many bugs, that i’d recommend watching a let’s play on Youtube. I have had all of the movie sequences go on repeat, while I was still playing. Looping them when ever I got back to the spot. At one point I also fell through the world.

Planescape: Torment

A man wakes up in a morgue, with no memory, next to a talking skull. It’s one of the few RPG games that brings the town of Sigil to life, with good graphics and for the most part avoidable combat. It’s a terrific story, with a lot of twists and turns around every corner.

Tyrian 2000

Jump from system to system, collect data logs and kill hordes of enemies. It’s a top down scrolling game, where  you control a heavily armed and poorly protected space craft. It’s an okay game, with some dry graphics and intense bosses and a hair raising difficulty.

Archimedean Dynasty


The world has gone down the crapper, along with man kind. Now everyone lives under the sea and commute with submarines. Which pilots a lot like space crafts. As far as sandbox games goes, it’s very open ended, with some catchy tunes and hard enemies. Plus a plethora of bugs. It may or may not run properly. Personally I could not see anything on the screen, followed by random crashes. Hopefully a fan patch or GOG will make it run better.

Njål H Sand