Tag Archives: Gus
Gus takes on Fall of the Samurai for your weekend entertainment ~
Lloyd Sabin, 22 January 2016
I love you, Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai. You are truly the pinnacle of the Total War series as far as AI wilyness, graphical atmosphere, and all around immersion. But oh…how I hate you as well, never having been able to beat you. I am the closest I have ever been right now, with the help of the Radious mod, which adds a giant rice bowl’s worth of features, including a tamping down of the dreaded Realm Divide event that occurs in the late game pitting whatever clans are left against the player. I presently hold 10 of the required 14 domains needed for a Short Campaign victory by 1882…the year of my last turn is 1870. I am moving on Kyoto, with plans to take Musashi as my final move. The last time I played, a few years ago, I actually ran out of time while besieging Musashi and lost the campaign by samurai’s hair. Not again…not again!
Early in my campaign, capturing the island prefecture of Tsushima was one of my first victories. Looting was not yet on my mind – I didn’t want all of Japan turning against me so early in the campaign due to bad battlefield behavior.
Developed by Creative Assembly and Published by SEGA
By Lloyd Sabin 15 August 2015
click images to enlarge
Let’s Be Honest with Each Other
I love Attila: Total War, but I’m not very good at it to be honest. I’ve played campaigns as the Geats, Langobards and the Huns in the standard game and after many, many false starts and immediate ass-whuppings, the best I could come up with so far is ‘not getting slaughtered at the very beginning.’ Even then, my Geat campaign ended in piles of ash where my capital city once stood and I don’t think I made it to 50 turns as the Huns. My Langobard campaign is ongoing…fingers crossed. I suppose that’s not too bad considering the main goal of these campaigns is to simply survive until a certain date but still…not a very stellar performance.
Cue the Last Roman campaign, featuring the Last Roman himself, Belisarius. The campaign is set on a mini-map which is virtually identical to the map that Creative Assembly produced for the Hannibal at the Gates campaign for Rome 2: Total War…it’s just set much later, obviously, in the 6th century AD. Playable factions include the Roman Expedition led by Belisarius (not the Eastern Roman Empire, led by an AI Justinian), the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths and the Franks. I chose to play the Roman Expedition first.
The first expansion for BA2 Eastern Front is here. How does Kursk stack up?
Lloyd Sabin – April 20, 2015
Here in the West we tend to be a bit short-sighted when it comes to history. Take a look at the majority of American movies and books on World War II and the Western Front will almost always be the main focus. The Eastern Front, if discussed at all, is framed as a distant, alien component of World War II, not more than a sideshow because of its foreign nature to Americans.
As grogs, we know this is a huge mistake. World War II’s Eastern Front was the central land combat theater of the entire war, far larger and certainly more pivotal than the Western Front, dwarfing land combat operations anywhere else on the globe during World War II. It was on the Eastern Front that Adolf Hitler attempted to establish his concept of lebensraum for the Third Reich, where the Reich’s logistics and supply systems were severely tested by distance and weather, and, ultimately, where World War II was decided in a massive, bloody, total war to the death between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union.
And within this bloody total war, the central, deciding push was The Battle of Kursk (German offensive Operation Citadel), begun in July, 1943. It pitted almost 800,000 German troops under the command of Generals von Manstein, Kluge, Hoth, and Model (among others) against almost 2,000,000 Soviet troops led by General Zhukov and a cabal of other generals. In 2015 it’s almost impossible to conceive of these gigantic numbers of men, not including the thousands of tanks and heavy guns arrayed on both sides. In the end, The Battle of Kursk would further evolve beyond just being the most colossal battle on the most pivotal front of the war – it would also morph into the most gigantic clash of armor the world has ever seen.
Lloyd delves into the historical archives to dig out an interesting bit of TANKSgiving history.
Lloyd Sabin, 28 November 2014
I struggled for a while this year to come up with something for TANKSgiving. In years’ passed I have done bits on rare WWI armored vehicles, early tanks…you know, the usual awesome stuff. This year for some reason I could not come up with an appropriate topic. Until I found the below picture during some online research.
Lloyd Sabin, 15 November 2014
Wings! Remastered Edition by Cinemaware
Lloyd takes to the skies and finds…
Humming in the Shower
I talk about my gaming childhood all the time around here – games that I grew up with, that introduced me to the hobby, that left an imprint on my personality, and whose theme songs I still hum in the shower 25 years later. Moreso than Gunship!, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Impossible Mission, Archon or Winter Games, or two dozen other titles from the 1980s and 1990s, memories of Wings! have been with me, branded into my gaming soul, since it was released almost 25 years ago.
The original is one of my favorite games of all time, probably in my personal top five list, because of the game’s perfect World War I atmosphere, generated by a combination of music, art and mood that really placed my impressionable brain in the Great War. Combined with the [albeit] linear campaign, the authentic sounding names in the pilot roster, the unit journal of the 56th Aerosquadron and the goings-on of the unit while off duty, Wings!, while not realistic by any measure other than a human one, grabbed my gaming brain and never let go.
Lloyd Sabin, All Hallow’s Eve, 2014
How Do I Look at the World?
I am a seasonal kind of guy. I read books that are indirectly connected to what’s going on outside my window. I listen to music to put me in a weather-appropriate mood. And I game the same way…linking what I play to my perceived notion of whatever season I’m in. I’ve written articles about this before, dating back about 10 years when I wrote a review of one of my favorite PC titles ever: Rome Total War – Barbarian Invasion (BI).
I remember starting my first campaign in that game in the fall, which felt so damned perfect it was palpable. The apocalyptic tension of the barbarian hordes slugging it out across a dynamic map of Europe and Asia blew my mind as the leaves on the trees outside my gaming room yellowed and fell to the ground. As a matter of fact it may have been BI that cemented this seasonal thinking in my brain. It may have started with books and music when I was a teenager, but PC games made it an official way of thinking, or some kind of disorder, as an adult. (Ed note: we’re voting for “disorder”).
Fast forward ten years and I’m still posting threads on what games are best to play in October, to get really juiced and jazzed for Halloween. I still listen to Type-O Negative tracks, the Cure and old U2…of course the album October by the Gaelic music gods is on constant rotation for me this time of year, despite the album being over 30 years old. But what to game?
Lloyd Sabin, 16 September, 2014
What game keeps you coming back?
Lloyd Sabin, September 7, 2014
Developed by Id and Machinegames and Distributed by Bethesda Softworks
Rarely is a review so easy for me to write. That’s because Wolfenstein: The New Order (W:TNO) is not only one of the most fun and creative shooters I have played, it is definitely one of the best games I have played, period. The quality of the visuals, the music, the story, the controls, the setting…everything about W:TNO proves that the developers at Id and Machinegames did indeed care about the tried and true Wolfenstein lineage, while not being timid in creating a brand new universe for this new Nazi-stomper, featuring our beloved hero B.J. Blazkowicz. I was engaged from the very beginning and tore through the single player campaign because it was a fascinating, exciting look at a dark, near-future. Add in a dash of humor and you have an almost perfect game.