A Little Look at:

This is going to be the first non-audio related post to help fill in the gaps between reviews so there will be something else to read in the mean time as I finish off the testing of my reviews.

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My Experience with Free to Play Games

There are two reasons that I always preferred paid games over FTPs.

  • The gameplay quality gap
    • When I look into the world of free-to-play games I noticed a rather huge gap in quality between many free-to-play games and paid games. In terms of FPS games, FTP's like Crossfire, Combat Arms, Battlefield Play4free all have a quality gap vs paid games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield 3.
  • Pay-to-win
    • "pay to win" items that give people who pay some sort of advantage over those who don't to "encourage" people to pay. 
This has begun to change in recent years (past 3 years or so). You can now find FTP's that more or less close the gap between paid games and FTP's. In terms of quality, Blacklight Retribution takes the cake. It was built on the Unreal Engine 3 and has many features many paid games have such as aim down sight(ADS) on all guns and good graphics. Though there are still items that you must pay to get such as extra custom load outs (very annoying) but is still a very satisfying game. League of Legends is the first that comes to my mind when thinking of fair gameplay as everything that affects gameplay can (eventually) be obtained by playing the game. The only thing that is really "exclusive" to people who pay are skins. Personally, I think this is a really good business model.

Intro to Tribes...

For those of you who haven't played or heard of the Tribes series yet, it is a series that first came out in 1998 built on fast paced gameplay which is heavily based on capture the flag and success is heavily based on your ability to keep up your speed and time your shots. This is all due to the "skiing" feature that allows the player to null gravity when the skis are active. It works on a relatively simple concept: going down a hill makes you speed up, going up a hill makes you slow down. The speed in this game puts a spin on what would have been a relatively simple game by making targets A LOT harder to hit if  you don't get the hang of the individual bullet speed. This speed gives CTF a whole new meaning, your flag is hear one second and gone the next.

The Tribes series currently include four games (not including one for PS2) and one "spiritual" remake:

  • Starsiege Tribes (Sierra On-Line/Sierra Entertainment, 1998)
  • Tribes 2 (Sierra On-Line/Sierra Entertainment, 2001)
  • Tribes Vengeance (Irrational Games/2K Entertainment, 2004)
  • Fallen Empire Legions/Legions Overdrive (Remake by Instant Action/Garage Games, now independently developed and released by the community, 2008/2010)
  • Tribes Ascend (Hi-Rez Studios, 2012)
Starsiege Tribes, Tribes 2 and Legions Overdrive are all released as freeware and Tribes Ascend is just out of beta as of today (April 12 2012).

Enter Tribes Ascend 

The newest and just released Tribes game to be released in eight years (assuming you don't consider Legions) it still manages to capture the classic high speed Tribes feel with new modern Unreal Engine 3 graphics (and system requirements). Personally, Tribes Ascend is my favourite FTP built on quality gameplay with a solid business model.

Here's what I really like:

  • Unreal 3 graphics
  • All in game items that directly affect gameplay will always be free and only skins will be paid
  • Fast-paced gameplay with GIGANTIC maps
  • Interesting gameplay
OK enough writing lets skip to the good stuff, some gameplay that will help me explain the rest. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video can easily be worth a million (official gameplay/trailer from Hi-Rez Studios):

If you are interested in playing the game, here is my referral link:

It gives me and you a little bonus once you reach level six when you sign up using my link and it would be a good way to say thanks for making reviews.

The upcoming reviews should include the Sennheiser HD 449, the Aurisonics ASG-1 and Aurisonics AS-1b.

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