One of the most popular franchises from Epic Games was the Unreal Tournament series. Unreal would be a major hit on the computer before finding similar success on both Xbox and Playstation consoles. The game is primarily an online multiplayer platform offering several game modes. These game platforms include large-scale Warfare, a Capture the Flag mode and a fun Death match mode option. Also included is an extensive offline single-player game with an in-depth story with each of the team members having unique individual personalities.
When Unreal Tournament 3 was launched in 2008 for the Xbox, I decided to give the game a try. What I found was one of the most fun and addicting multiplayer games I have ever played. A game that still gets heavy play year after year in my Xbox gaming console.
Although I wasn’t exposed to any prior editions of the UT series, I found Unreal Tournament to be filled with tons of entertaining features. For example, the automobiles are split up into two factions, the Axon automobiles and Necris automobiles. The Axon automobiles are identical automobiles from UT2004, but several have significant action changes.
Additionally, each player has a skateboard-like device that enables gamers to rapidly traverse large maps and grapple onto other team-mates’ automobiles. The hover board is extremely susceptible to attack meaning any hit would knock the gamer from the board and disable her or him for some time. I also found it challenging to choose when to use the board and when not, as you cannot use weapons when using the hoverboard.
There are 5 playable factions in Unreal Tournament 3. The playable factions are:
Iron Guard, a group of human mercenaries brought by former Tournament champion Malcolm the Ronin
A gang of four children of the Skaarj attack on the human colony Liandri
A number of advanced humanoid robots custom-built or retrofitted for combat the Krall
A warlike race of aliens formerly underneath the leadership from the Skaarj, coming back using their initial appearance within the original Unreal
The Necris; players who’ve gone through the entire process of exactly the same title, which makes them more powerful at the fee for changing their biological processes with “Nanoblack”, effectively turning them into undead soldiers. Nothing like the undead huh?
Within the Campaign, gamers control people from the Ronin, and also the Necris function as the main antagonists.
It’s a great game that originally got me into the whole shooter genre. But sadly, 2008 was the last inception of the Unreal Tournament series. It garnered a some positive reviews from Gamespot, Playstation Magazine and Xbox Magazine. But even with the glowing reviews the sales numbers were lower than anticipated. It left many hardcore dedicated fans wondering when a new Unreal Tournament would be released.
Considering how popular the online community still is to this day in regards to Unreal Tournament 3, it was kind of shocking to see Epic Games take such a sabbatical on developing a 4th installment.
Earlier this year, Epic Games vice-president Mark Rein revealed the next edition of the Unreal Engine will be released in 2012. This sparks hope that a new, revolutionary version of Unreal Tournament series won’t be far behind. Once can hope.
Take a look at the demo of the Unreal 4 engine.
Games of Fame: Mortal Kombat “Shaolin Monks”
Most of you reading this may be surprised that our Games of Fame section has yet to include a Mortal Kombat game. Well, you’re going to be even more surprised when you see our first Mortal Kombat inclusion isn’t the traditional “tournament-style fighting” format that the MK series has built it’s legendary status with.
In fact this inclusion goes for Mortal Kombat’s 2005 release “Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks” which was the games venture into campaign-beat’em up style gaming. While traditional MK fans may have hated this temporary transition for MK, I absolutely loved the daring change and was kind of sad when it wasn’t offered in another installment after 2005. In October 2004, the president of Midway, David F. Zucker, called the release of Shaolin Monks the “first step toward delivering something that Mortal Kombat fans have been calling for: a new game set in the Mortal Kombat universe every year.”
The games storyline focused on events after the original Mortal Kombat event in which you can control one of two (or both in co-op) members of the Shaolin Order, either Liu Kang or Kung Lao. The story follows them as they travel through the realms in an effort to thwart Shang Tsung’s efforts to dominate EarthRealm.
The game features a multi-directional combat system that provides players an ability to attack any of the enemies that surround them fluidly and all at once in certain instances using the combo attacks feature. Players can also use their combos after launching an enemy into the air through a powerful attack or a throw.
The main characters also have many of their signature moves. Combos and special moves are upgradeable through the earning of experience points. There is also something really cool called the Fatality meter that goes up when more combos are executed on enemies. Once that meter has reached a certain level, a Fatality may be performed.
The main characters have the ability to perform multiple variations of Fatality moves including Multalities, which are Fatalities performed on multiple enemies at once.
It was a successful venture for Mortal Kombat, which at the time had seemingly become stale from the limited expansion the series could make in the tournament-style fighting realm. The game didn’t seem fresh to many longtime fans and gamers and this was surely an effort to provide that feel.
We jut find it unfortunate that there have been no spinoffs of this game, particularly with the onus that both Xbox, Playstation and Wii have placed on online gaming.
Maybe one day, we can see that spinoff come to life.
Until then, check out the game!
Games of Fame: Friday the 13th
We’re going old school with this induction into our games of fame and we’re going against the popular opinion. In 1989 LJN released it’s video game adaptation of the popular slasher series Friday the 13th on the Nintendo Entertainment System. As popular as the film had been, the game was met with less than positive reviews. But then again, how many Friday the 13th movies were ever given favorable reviews?
Needless to say the Nintendo game has been ceremoniously considered by numerous gaming magazine and review panels as one of the worst, if not the worst, horror game adaptations of all time. Many of the critics sited the games repetitive music and the frustration that came with the games play.
The authors of Nintendo Power rated Friday the 13th the sixth worst game ever made in the magazine’s September 1997 issue. The writer stated “After playing a few minutes of this aardvark, you wanted Jason to slaughter all the counselors and then you. Anything so it would just end.”
Ouch. That hurts more than an axe to the head from Jason Voorhees himself. So why does this game make our Games of Fame list?
For a few reason actually.
For starters, I’m a huge horror movie fan. I have been my entire life and my favorite slasher series has been and always will be Friday the 13th. Being born in 1982 I was pretty young when the Jason Voorhees craze was at it’s all-time pique. I was also young enough to experience the Nintendo boom and have it be an intricate part of my childhood. My love for video games and my love for having the shit scared out of me easily equated to me natural admiration for the video game.
Does the game have flaws? Absolutely. But i find them more humorous than infuriating. I also found the game incredibly difficult. You have to beat Jason a total of 3 times in the game, each time Jason is stronger and quicker in his attacks. You also have to do this while ensuring that he doesn’t kill all the counselors and all the camp’s children.
Another thing pretty kickass about this game is it is an embodiment of it’s era. In today’s world there is no way a game would be put out to the mass public, on a platform geared for children nonetheless, that had a villain who killed children. The camp starts out with a total of 15 campers (children) and every few minutes, you are alerted that Jason is attacking the campers. If you take too much time responding to the alert Jason kills one or more of the campers. Think about how warmly that would be received by today’s standards. So for that reason alone this makes Friday the 13th a unique game that probably can never be duplicated (who would want to?).
The gameplay is rather straightforward and overwhelmingly repetitive. A player starts out with 6 camp counselors to choose from. Each counselor has differentiating skills in speed, jump power, etc. You also start out with a grand total of 15 campers to protect. Along each player’s path there are different environments like the woods, a cave, lake and numerous cabins. The more an individual character is played the more weapon upgrades they receive. Each player starts out with a rock but can move to a knife, machete, torch, pitchfork and more.
You also have to unlock secret items by exploring the caves and woods which are purposely setup to disorient the player.
Jason can also randomly attack you on your path, which if you’re a kid playing this game can scare the shit out of you as he generally jumps out of the middle of nowhere with very little indication.
Despite what the critics say, this game reeks of awesomeness and deserves it’s eternal place in our Games of Fame section. You can play the game online through this emulator
But for now, Jason will rest eternally on The Deviant Gamer website…..but is he really dead? We’re not telling!
Game of Fame: The Warriors
Some people consider the 1979 film by Walter Hall, The Warriors, based on the same-titled book by Sol Yurick in 1965 a cult-classic. Quite frankly, I thought the movie was boring at best. But in 2005, Rockstar Games released the video game version of the popular movie. The game was in typical “Rockstar Games” fashion, an action-adventure- survival game with a heavy focus on brawling and free moving throughout stages and environments. Other elements are mixed into the gameplay experience, such as the use spray paint to mark your turf and the ability to insult other people.
Released on both Xbox and Playstation, the game featured a rumble-style gang action theme. The player(s) could be assisted in brawls by up to 8 Warrior gang members adding a unique element that made the Warriors a fun game to play, especially on multi-player. The game also loosely followed the tone of the 1979 film, with famous scenes re-illustrated through the games’ storyline.
Players would also have the ability to play as all the Warriors throughout the game. Choosing the option to play the game in Multi-Player offered the same storyline, abilities and action as playing the game in single-player mode. But people complained the multi-player mode screen splits vertically for two players, creating a narrow field of vision, that cluttered screens.
Despite the complaints, the game received mostly positive reviews as many considered the game to breathe life back in the brawler genre and people also commended the games overall feel, tone and the music.
Although the game received great feedback overall, Rockstar has not developed an additional game into the series. While that may be difficult to do considering how to first game played out and also considering the 1979 film had a rather definitive end to the story, it’s not to say that Rockstar couldn’t find a way to keep the series going. They’ve done it before with games like Red Dead Revolver and seem to release a Grand Theft Auto every few years.
What’s even more interesting is that Xbox has not updated the game to be playable on the 360 console which it has done for various popular game titles. They did however, release a Warriors game in the arcade a few years back to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the film, but was a classic side-scrolling, beat’em up styled game that lacked many of the features that made the original such a smash hit.
I would personally love to see this game reintroduced. If not through a new edition to the series, which is preferable, then through updating the game so it is available to the newer consoles. One can hope.
I spent a considerable amount of time tackling this game and played almost entirely with a friend on the multi-player mode. It still ranks as one of the most fun I have had playing a video game. Therefore is easily makes our Games of Fame list at The Deviant Gamer.
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