SteadiestShark Gaming

Reviewing videogames and posting gaming articles since 2012.

Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

The Playstation 4 & Ustream: A Questionable Live-Streaming Partnership?

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ps4 logo

Yesterday evening, Sony finally held their much-rumoured Playstation 4 event, where many things were confirmed such as its ability to live-stream gameplay footage to friends, and presumably the internet.

Whilst I was both surprised and impressed at what I was hearing with regards to the streaming functionality, I always had one question running through my mind: “Why did they choose Ustream as the PS4’s streaming service and not the experience and install-base of Twitch.tv?”

For those that are unaware of the entire live-streaming world out there, Ustream and Justin.tv used to be toe-to-toe a few years ago as the two biggest broadcasting sites, however once Justin.tv split into two entities (one of them being  the videogame-focused Twitch.tv), Ustream just got blown out of the water. Since then, Twitch.tv has had an absolute stranglehold on the videogame live-streaming market, where their user-base is so large that it is not uncommon for competitive gaming streams to break 100,000+ simultaneous viewers.

So knowing this, I naturally couldn’t understand why on earth Sony would opt for using a service other than Twitch.tv for streaming videogames.

ustream logo

However that wasn’t the end of my questions. The conference went on to show that all recorded footage can be uploaded to Facebook, without a single mention of the obvious choice of Youtube. Naturally, I then thought: “Why not Youtube? It has the largest user-base of people that actually want to watch videos, as well as the fact that it has far better upload speeds and the necessary ability to search for videos instead of only seeing content from friends.”

Now, with these two questions in my mind, I was trying to figure out what could possibly be stopping Sony from picking the two obvious platforms (especially since Twitch.tv can already upload footage directly to Youtube). To which I have come up with four possible reasons:

  1. Twitch.tv and Youtube were both too expensive to obtain as partners and/or Ustream was tempting in a “we can both help each other to grow” kind of way.
  2. Twitch.tv and Youtube simply did not want any part of this venture for whatever reason.
  3. Sony simply failed to mention Youtube, but it will be supported.
  4. Somebody else (maybe Microsoft) has beaten Sony to the punch and has already claimed Twitch.tv and Youtube as partners for a live-streaming service that is set to rival the PS4’s.

Whilst it’s entirely possible for numbers 1 to 3 to be the case, the most interesting prospect would be if number 4 was true. Could Microsoft be cooking up a rival service that would (potentially) have greater expertise and muscle to crush the PS4’s offering? Or is all of this speculation just completely off-base?

twitch logo

Anyway, whilst I didn’t reach any particular conclusion in this post, I just thought that it was an interesting point to address and hopefully things will become clear (such as Microsoft’s plans) at this year’s E3 event in June.

 

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© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

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Guild Wars 2 Impressions Follow-up

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Fresh off of the final beta weekend for Guild Wars 2 I have felt the need to mention some things that have bothered me.

Previously:

Previously I had written a rather lengthy first impressions article (in a review style) for Guild Wars 2, where I generally stated how impressed I was by the game and its new direction.

However, whilst I did mention a couple of issues that I had with the game, I didn’t really elaborate on them as strongly as I should have done – and with the game coming out in roughly a month’s time, it’s unlikely that these will be altered for its official release.

Let me start off by saying that these are just my opinions and I do in fact see some counter-arguments to these issues.

GW2 blogsleep

My character represents my blog’s activity.

Personal gripe number 1 – the skill system:

Having played Guild Wars 1, I have been spoilt by being granted the ability to hand-customise my entire 8-skill ability tray with whatever I want, regardless of what weapon I was using (outside of the Warrior-class). This allowed a lot of creativity, whether you wanted to go 100% offensive, 100% support/defensive, or what I generally preferred – being as offensive as possible whilst having a decent amount of sustain (both health-wise and mana-wise). Basically, you could create some skill-sets that synchronised far more impressively than the developers could have anticipated.

In Guild Wars 2, you have a 10-skill ability tray. The first slot is worthless and is just your simple basic attack with whatever weapon you are using, so you have 9 slots to customise, right? Wrong.

The following 4 slots are usually offensive-based and are determined by whatever weapons you are using. You CANNOT change these 4 slots unless you completely change weapons, possibly to something that you don’t want to use. Oh yeah, each weapon (one per hand) only has 2 skills per character class!

The final 5 slots are unlocked via skill points and are player-selectable – however they’re pretty much limited to healing, sustain or utility – no skills truly seem offense-based or even aware of what your weapon of choice is. So basically, out of 10-skill slots, you only truly have input on what 5 of them are – and even those seem severely limited in terms of offensive options and generally don’t seem to synchronise very well.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – some people have mentioned that the developers plan to add more skill options for each weapon set. Whilst this doesn’t exactly fix my concerns with the last 5 skill slots, it definitely does help.

GW2 spamming

Pretty much just spamming moves here, also the enemy had an invincibility glitch.

Personal gripe number 2 – the lack of a mana/energy system:

As previously mentioned, Guild Wars 1 had an energy system in place.

In Guild Wars 2, from what I can tell, the only “resource” that must be worked around is the cool-down period on each skill after they have been used. Due to this, the game simply promotes spamming all of your moves once they come off of their cool-downs without any regard for how long the battle is likely to last or possibly other factors that escape my mind at the moment. This dumbs down the skill-based gameplay by some amount.

GW2 3 weapons?

I wish that I could always use 3 weapons like this glitch shows, I’d like more skills to work with!

Nit-picking – the F-key skills:

Those that have played Guild Wars 2 may have already begun yelling at me for forgetting about the existence of the F-key skills that are available in the game, and they’d be correct in doing so. For me, it’s hard to remember their inclusion (despite mentioning them in my previous blog post) as they just don’t seem that potent or even interesting. Granted I could have played classes (Guardian and Mesmer) that didn’t utilise them very often at lower levels. Speaking of which, the F-key skills are actually pretty unviable in general for the Mesmer class from what I can tell, as illusions rarely “survive” long enough to be detonated, or are better off being “alive” if given the option anyway. The Guardian class had some survivability skills here, along with the odd condition-giving one.

At any rate, whilst I am definitely no expert on these skills,  I don’t believe that you can customise them as they are simply awarded/unlocked as you level up.

In short:

These combined issues equals a rather shallow combat experience with regards to skill usage, and is only made deeper by the new (and somewhat interesting) movement options. I also hope that the developers truly do have plans to add more skill variety/options.

All written content is
© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

EA and Nintendo are now supplying GAME

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Game Logo

GAME, the UK’s biggest gaming store chain has had a very troubled past few months – going into administration and desperately looking for a buyer. After a relatively long negotiation period, the chain finally found a buyer in the form of OpCapita. A restructuring of the management positions occurred shortly afterwards.

Fast forward a few weeks and it seems that operations are now being restored throughout the remaining GAME/Gamestation stores as well as their website, as both EA and Nintendo have once again begun to supply them with their newest titles. It has still yet to be seen when other companies such as Capcom will begin to follow suit, but chances are that it will probably be in the very near future.

Article Source:

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a376521/ea-stock-returns-to-game-website.html

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© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

Written by SteadiestShark

April 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

League of Legends: Some very important combat tips.

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Hello all,

Today I’d like to talk about a game that I’ve played quite a lot of over the last 6 months or so – League of Legends.

LoL Logo

League of Legends (or LoL) is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, which is essentially a 5 vs 5 strategy game, with RPG aspects and no base-building elements. The game can be downloaded and played for free, here: http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/ (simply replace “euw” with “na” if you’re from North America – or just Google it)

Anyway, having played my fair share of the game, I have witnessed countless occassions where a teammate (or enemy!) has made the most stupid and downright reckless play – showing no respect to their opponent or their options.

Whilst I may not be the best player on the game, I feel that I’m solid enough to give out some much-needed education, and I will proceed to do so in the form of several easy-to-understand points.

So, without further distraction – here are some things that you NEED to take into account when engaging the enemy:

1. Differences in combat level:

Yes, this is an extremely obvious point. If you’re outmatched on a basic level front, you’re probably not going to win an exchange – unless you are ROUGHLY the same level as your opponent. Obviously there are other factors at work, such as character type vs character type and the fact that many battles involve teammates – but it’s still something that you always need to think about.

2. Differences in Health AND Mana levels:

Again, comparing health levels is also an obvious point and is done naturally by almost every player subconciously – due to it being a stable game mechanic for the last few decades. However, what a lot of players DON’T do is pay attention to their opponent’s (and sometimes even their own!) Mana bar. Quite simply put, if an opponent has little to no mana – they’re nowhere near as much of a threat as they’d normally be, simple right?

3. Checking map for enemy/friendly activity:

Now we’re leaving the more obvious points. Basically, you should always flick your eyes towards the map every few seconds or so. If you cannot see a single enemy’s location, just stay back and play safe as there is a fair chance that they could be just around the corner and waiting to spring a trap on you (otherwise known as being ganked). Naturally, if an enemy is missing from the map – ask your team where they are. Aside from watching for enemy activity, you should keep an eye on friendly activity as one of your team may have decided to assist you for a trap/gank of your own – and these are opportunities that you don’t want to waste!

4. Look at the items the enemy has and compare them to yours:

We’re definitely becoming less obvious here. You’ll want to use the “TAB” key to quickly check what items your enemy of choice currently has in their possession as some items have rather scary abilities when used. It also gives a better understanding of their combat ability.

5. Look at what summoner spells the opponent has:

Once again, by pressing the “TAB” key, you’re able to see what summoner spells the opponent is using. I’ve seen many instances where somebody has been surprised by their opponent quickly using the healing summoner spell and winning the battle. Don’t let this happen to you, always check and always believe that they have it ready to activate – unless of course you’ve seen them use it within the last 2-3 minutes.

6. Beware of the Flash (teleportation) summoner spell:

Almost everybody uses this spell in LoL, and it’s easy to see why – it’s absolutely brilliant for escaping bad situations as well as amazing for starting your attack in order to catch the opponent off-guard. As with the previous point, when going against somebody using this spell, always try to mentally add the range of this spell to whatever abilities or normal range their character has and always presume they have it ready to activate.

7. Don’t be afraid to let an opponent escape with low health:

If they’re back to their turret or covered by teammates that are sure to kill you if you try to finish them off – pull back and don’t risk your life. You’ve beaten them back once, you can probably do it again, just farm for some gold and take advantage of the time in which the enemy is back at base.

8. Don’t be afraid to slowly chip away at the enemy’s health with relative safety:

Sooner or later, they’ll want to retreat – or they’ll foolishly stay around and become an easy kill before long.

9. Always be prepared for what the opponent’s character to can throw at you (and play safe if you don’t know what their character can do):

Whilst this experience will come within time, you’ll need to be ready to eat whatever the opponent’s character is able to throw at you. You will also need to presume that they have every ability ready to unleash on you. Plan your attack around this, try to do what you can to break up their combo. However, some characters are just plain stronger than others in certain matchups. In those cases, just play safe until help arrives. As an extension on this point, try to tailor your items to counter your opponent’s champion/character.

10. If you have 1/4 to 1/3 of your health with no healing items/ability, just return to base:

I’ve seen so many people stick around when they are just going to get themselves killed. Usually the same people don’t expect the opponent to flash up to them for an easy kill. Now, there are times when sticking around can lead to a brilliant turnaround – but these moments are the exception and not the rule.

LoL combat

Two more basic tactics for when you finally decide to attack the enemy:

1. Consider using flash to instantly get close/in range for your abilities, it’s hard for them to react to and ALWAYS lead your attack pattern with a stunning skill (if you have one).

2. Focus on killing the main damage-dealer/carry first. The other guy (in a 2 vs 2 lane) will fall or run once their true source of damage is gone.

There you have it, a bunch of pretty obvious tips that will probably help a whole bunch of people at lower level play if they are followed.

Just make sure you can flick through this mental list quickly during play and you’ll drastically increase your chances.

Naturally there is a whole lot more to this game than straight-up combat (farming effectively, playing the minion game, etc) – but frequently getting yourself killed for no real reason will completely overthrow these factors.

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© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

Written by SteadiestShark

April 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Waygoz.com – a gaming social hub that specialises in game-trading between members!

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Hello there!

As the title suggests, I’ve recently heard about a rather interesting website through the grapevine:

http://www.waygoz.com

Waygoz Logo

The gist of the website is that you sign up via Facebook, and then proceed to list the games that you own (and are or are not willing to trade) as well as the games that you wish to obtain. You are also able to enter the details of your location (which can be as vague as you want) for the chance of receiving notifications from people that are trading near to you, although I’ve yet to familarise myself with this aspect.

Waygoz Tradescreen

One of the best reasons for using Waygoz as a method of trading your games is that you’re almost guarenteed to get a better overall value for your trades than you would do with the average highstreet store.

As it stands, Waygoz seems to be a fairly lively website (granted, mostly in the NA region) – with a multitude of trades being proposed as well as each member being given access to a stream of posts by people that they follow, which allows for brilliant opportunities for gaming-related dialogue. Participate enough and you’re sure to be seen by other users!

Whilst this is definitely a cool idea that seems to be taking off, you have to wonder what will happen when the next console generation arrives – where both Sony and Microsoft are drawing up plans to eliminate used/traded games from the equation. I guess only time will tell…but until then, why not check Waygoz out? You might make some cool friends from around your area and with some very similar gaming tastes to boot!

Waygoz Homepage

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© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

Written by SteadiestShark

April 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hello fellow game enthusiasts!

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As you may have gathered by the title, I am new around here – so I hope that you’ll all give me a chance and begin to enjoy the content that I have to offer!

So, who am I?

I am known as SteadiestShark (formerly SteadyShark), I am in my early 20’s and I live in the UK. I have had many hobbies over the course of my life, but the single interest that I never once got tired of for a prolonged period of time was videogames – and everything related to them. I am also a fan of anime/japanese animation and manga, and have been since the days of the original Pokémon series – however I question how frequently that’ll be touched upon in this blog.

So, what’s my story for being here?

Ever since graduating from univeristy with a First in Computer Science, I have become conflicted with regards to which path I’d like to follow in life and therefore thought that I could try my hand at videogame writing/journalism – if only to build experience and prove that I know what I’m talking about with regards to certain aspects of game design.

Whilst I realise that this blog is extremely unlikely to take off (considering how there are hundreds, if not thousands of people doing the exact same thing) – at the very least it’ll give me something constructive to do and possibly allow me to gain some experience that I can use in the future.

So, what reviews may be coming soon and what am I playing?

Out of all of the games that are sitting around in my backlog and those that are soon to be released – I may be playing and reviewing any of the following:
Saints Row: The Third (360), Dynasty Warriors 7 (PS3), Uncharted 3 (PS3), King of Fighters 13 (360), Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3).

I may also touch upon some other games and lesser-known downloadable titles.

Finally, I actually do have a means to capture gameplay. Feel free to check out some of my videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/djquackquack.

So, now that-that’s out of the way, full steam ahead!

All written content is
© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

Written by SteadiestShark

January 13, 2012 at 1:56 am

Posted in Random