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New upcoming games

Well, as I started poking around there are in fact a few more upcoming games. Always upcoming. Who knows when we'll actually see them. The new buzzword this year is "Hyper FPS" I've seen a couple games referred to as that. I have no idea what it means, but I suspect it has to do with some kind of fast paced game-play.

Davinci Online is an upcoming Hyper FPS from Bridea. Not much on it yet, but it seems to be set around the time period of Davinci. This may be going the Warcry route. I did find this video:


Next up is IOB. Not sure what it stands for, but it's the next WW2 shooter. I know you haven't played one in awhile, but Karma was rather underwhelming in the scheme of things, so perhaps this will be better. It again has little out but a few screenshots, and a video.



We've actually got a FPS over at Nolto. Project Mercury. It's a stylized shooter and if you're reading this when I'm posting it, there is 1 more day of a beta test. Not sure if it's automatic, but I think I can access it. If so, I'll post some vids and screens. It has an interesting retro style, so it might prove entertaining.

Netmarble, have I mentioned they still haven't fixed their sign-up issues? Regardless they have a Hyper FPS coming called Ground Zero. They don't have any videos worth looking at on their page. Just a bunch of 5 second videos showing various attacks/abilities.


A couple more gone

I was just thinking about doing my latest round of infrequent updates to catch up on what games have become available, but the answer seems to be not much, and we've lost some of the existing games.

Pointblank joins the ranks of the closed FPS. It's a shame, because the game still looked good, and when I last played it a couple months back, the community still seemed to be there. PlayNC seems to be moving to focus solely on MMORPGs and casual games.

Also, Another Day has closed as well. This is no surprise as the community was pretty dead when I was last there, but don't let that reflect on the quality of the game. It was a decent shooter.

Psychic Online, Metal Black, Dizzel, Metro and Gundog are still "Coming soon", so who knows when we'll see them.

Born to Fire seems to be the only new FPS game these days. The FPS scene in Korea is getting small. We've had 6 FPS shooters close recently, while only gaining 1. It's left some portals without a FPS that previously had some. I don't know if FPS in general are getting less popular, but it seems like MMORPGs are the big money makers as most portals, except Pmang, have many more MMORPGs than FPSs.

Cyphers

Cyphers is a third person action game that I ran across quite randomly. I was looking for something else and this just happened to be on the front of Naver today. They seem to be in open beta right now. It looks to be running until June 12, and it's their third test, so I suspect this is gong to be going live soon. This is hosted on a standalone site and comes to us from Neople. They're also responsible for Dungeon Fighter which I've heard of and feel like it may be popular, I'll have to look into that one more. Sign-up for the site is pretty standard, but when you try to use the I-PIN option it states that they're still enabling that feature. Currently foreigners can't type their full name into the name field. The best I could do is 12 characters which leaves me far short. If you've got a really short name, it might work, but I can't test that. I used a Korean ID to create the account. I'll test the I-PIN sign-up when it's finished. Installation is also standard for a game of this type. Just click game start after you're logged in, install the active-x and follow along. Make sure to uncheck the boxes which offer to set the site as your homepage and all that fun stuff.

As to the game itself. It's a character based game. Meaning that there are a set number of characters and each has unique powers and abilities. You choose one at the start of each match, but there can be only one, if someone else chose it, I think it's random who gets to use it and who gets assigned a different one. When you start you'll be forced into a tutorial. Follow along, it's pretty obvious and you get some cash rewards for it. After each match you'll gain level XP, and character XP. You gain big XP for the one you used and a tiny amount for the rest of them. Once you get into the settings, set your resolution and set everything to the "고" level, that's the high level on this one. It seems to be named differently than the other games.

The game is a team-based game where the object is to destroy the other team's base. There are some twists to it. Each team has some soldiers that are sent automatically and fairly trivial to defeat, but left unchecked, they'll pile up and can cause some serious damage. As well each team has a massive guardian that protects the base. He'll destroy you easily if you don't go in as a team. The map is laid out with 3 paths going between the bases and some crossing lanes. Along the paths are also barriers that you have to bust through that have cannons and the like mounted on them. You can walk through your own, but you'll have to bust down the enemies to get past. Also this game has a unique twist in that the more you die the slower you respawn. It can get quite long, even by the third or fourth death you can go from a 15-20 second respawn to around 45 seconds.

Your character can attack with a regular attack, but also has several special attacks built in. Don't worry about remembering the keys for it because they're simple and part of an overlay. I'm not sure how to get rid of it, but you really don't notice it after awhile and it helps you keep track of your cooldowns. As you destroy enemies you'll gain gold. This isn't permanent gold so spend it. During the tutorial you will have had an opportunity to try the item system. Basically you just buy things from the menu below by pushing 1-8. These are clothing items that boost various things like attack and defence. It should be mostly obvious what each one does. You can hold down TAB to get a more detailed Korean view of everything. If you push CTRL it will change your menu to a potion menu. Use this to get health potions and other things. Health potions are #1. As you do this your level will increase. Not sure what effect that has on things beyond having better equipment. After you hit level 5 you get access to the dollar store to spend all that money you've been collecting from games. I haven't opened that yet, but I suspect it to be fairly standard. You'll be able to buy permanent bonuses and things I assume. I'll comment on that when I get it unlocked. Shortly I'll attach a gameplay video showing a bit. Ignore the stutter, if it shows up. I find recording in fraps to sometimes induce lag which isn't there otherwise.

The game is not bad. A good little action game, something different which is never a bad thing. I find that it's easy to stun-lock people. I'm not sure if I'm just playing against bad people or what, but my first few games I've done quite well. I'm sure that'll change when I leave the noob area or however it's done. There is no lobby system in this game. You just push F5 to quick join a game or hit F6 to create your own rooms.

Wolf-team update

Wolf-team has found itself a new host. It's not longer on Hangame and can be found at Softnyx. A bonus to this move is that the site does not require any ID card to sign-up. You can sign-up with any information you want, and even make multiple accounts if you need to. The sign-up is straight forward. The only thing I found was that my ID was in use, but my password didn't work. Strange, as I've never had my ID taken on another Korean site before. I'm not sure if user data got transferred with the game, but if it did, it's not working properly. The site doesn't seem to use Active-X and this now runs from a downloaded client and also has global servers.

Recent withdrawals

I was finally going to get around to my irregular spurty update as I'd noticed a few new things coming out lately and when I started poking around I've found that several games have also recently closed. Some were getting old, but a few were surprises. So before I get into a slew of updates about new games, I'm going to just make a note of which games have recently disappeared. In no particular order:

Metal rage - which was the giant robot fighting game recently closed it's doors after many years of operation. A shame to see it go, but it was getting old. It was however a bit of a unique game.

Sting - Sting seems to have finally disappeared. This is too bad, because while it was head-shot crazy there were some unique gameplay elements which I did like.

BattleStar - I never really got to write this one up, but this was a FPS vs RTS space marine style game. It looked unique and I had a very short time to play a beta, but I never got to really enjoy it. Netmarble has pulled the page. I have no idea why, the game was technically only out for a very short time. I can only surmise that they ran into some financial or technical difficulty.

Unit - I was disappointed to find out that this had disappeared. I liked Unit, but gamebus has totally redone their site and seemingly shut down many of their offerings. The site is mostly a generic corporate site now. I don't know if that means they're shopping Unit around to other sites, but as far as I can tell it's dead.

Company of Heroes - Korea was affected by the global shut down of the game. Sometimes Korea is immune to those kinds of things, but in this case they did not keep the game running here. A shame as it was nice to have another RTS option in country.

I'll keep my eyes open to see if any other games have recently shut down. I'm most disappointed about Unit and Battlestar, but really it's a shame to see any of these games go. I did get a chance to play Soldier of Fortune over the last few days and take some screenshots and a video so I'll see if I can get that written up. It's not open now, it was a short test, but I think it opens up finally for good at the end of this month if I read it correctly.

Another Day Install and Impressions

Another Day is a first person shooter from Allstar. It's in open beta, which like all other open betas basically means it is out. I played this last year during a test and it didn't perform that well. Now, on my new machine with everything set to max it seems to play just fine. I didn't notice any framerate issues during gameplay. To get it installed, head over to the site and login. As an additional note you might see no rooms when you login. Click the "채널이동" in the middle of the screen. This will take you to the channel select screen. Choose "일반 채널" which puts you in the general channel. You might have defaulted to the beginner channel, which is usually empty. Though, don't expect a lot of players. While an interesting shooter, it hasn't gained that much traction yet. Allstar is not a major portal.

Install is pretty straight forward. Press game start a couple times and get your usual round of pop-ups asking for permission to install various controls, etc. Once you get the installer panel you see to the right, push the lower left button "전송시작". That will start the download. After the download is finished, the button will change text, push it again to start the actual install. Basically keep pressing "다음" through the whole install and accept terms when they appear. It's not a huge download or a long install, so it shouldn't take you a long time.

Once in the game you'll want to go to the options and up your screen resolution and up the various settings. This game defaults to very low settings, and once or twice during the game I noticed that it actually reset itself to low settings, I had to jump into the options in game and set them to high again. I'm not sure why it did that. The model in the shot on the left is on low settings. You can see the very muddy armor. The option menu is of course the one with the gear icon in the upper right. Once in there go to the "비디오" tab, which is the third one and make sure everything is set to "상" which means high. "하" is low and "중" is mid.

Guns are fairly standard in this game. You can carry multiple guns dependent on size. You'll see a "+X" number at the bottom, this translates to how much more you can carry, but different sized guns take up a different amount of space. A big gun might take 4 or 5. In the equipment screen you'll want to drag the guns you want to use down to the equipment bar for each class. What makes this game special are the suits. Your suits can come equipped with jump jets for your 2 battle classes, while the sniper can come equipped with a cloak. You can by better helmets, suits and packs that house your jump jets and cloaks. The helmets are interesting in that they have a function in game. If your helmet gets shot, you'll see broken glass and you might lose your radar if your helmet is blown completely off. I don't have a shot of that, but in the video below you can see me blowing the helmet off someone. He would have seen broken glass as it was hit. The jump jets can propel you quite far ahead or you can use them for short bursts to the side to avoid fire, a grenade, or an enemy with a hand-held ripper.

The maps are interesting and varied with a good mix of outdoors, inside, tunnels and even air ducts present on a lot of maps. There isn't really anything to interact with on the map, but some maps have doors present that you can open. It could add strategy but the matches are you usually too fast to really use those. You won't find a lot of places where a team could hole up and defend. So this is mostly a chaotic run and gun. There are lots of places for an ambush though, so it's pretty easy to get the drop on someone if you can find a safe place behind a barrel or some boxes. However, you want to change location after that because they do get a camera on you after they've died. They'll be expecting you next time. The radar shows enemies well so if an enemy spots you, you can be sure any nearby enemies know you're around. So picking ambush spots and moving around is a good way to add up the bodies.

This is a good looking shooter. It performs well and it has a couple of innovative features like the suit and the way the helmet can be blown off. It makes for a pretty fast paced and interesting game as people jump around the map firing at each other. You have to be able to spin fast and shoot as the guy you have lined up suddenly rockets past you and blows you away from behind. The only real problem is lack of players. There is always at least 1 game going on, but you don't have a lot of choices if there is some shark in there destroying everyone, or they all want to play bomb maps and you just want a straight out deathmatch. It's worth checking out, but if the body count picks up, it's a definite must-play

Allstar sign-up

Allstar is a portal I meant to cover before, but I seem to have forgotten to write about it. I found some old sign-up photos stored away in my blog photo directory but they're out of date now. Allstar has changed their sign-up page a little since I took those screen captures. However, signing up for this site is pretty straight forward and easy. Head over to the site and have your i-Pin ID ready.

Start by clicking "회원가입" underneath the red login button. Ignore the impulse to use the foreigner sign-up form. If you do this, your account takes time to be verified. They expect you to fax or attach a scan of your passport for verification. Using the i-Pin you can pass on your details to the site through the normal registration process. So choose the left-most option. Then click the i-Pin tab on the next page and launch the i-Pin interface. Sign-in and it will pass on your details to the website. Fill out the rest of the form and away you go. The form has all the standard questions. I can't recall right now if the ID and nickname can be the same or not. Their captcha has changed. You don't write what you see, you might have to do a math question. So basically put in the value of what you would get. For example the current captcha on the foreigner registration page that I can see says "8+4+5" so I'd enter 17, not "8+4+5".

The reason I bring up this portal is of course a first person shooter by the name of "Another Day". I played this game last year during one of the beta tests, but it didn't run that well. I tried it briefly a few months ago again and it was much better. Now with the new machine I'm going to give it a proper go and write it up.