Friday, November 11, 2011

Two things people seem to hate about Mists of Pandaria (and why I think they're both awesome)

I'm seeing a lot of rage over the new World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria (hereafter referred to as MoP) which, frankly, I can't understand. I acquired a Blizzcon Virtual Ticket and have seen the MoP Panel at Blizzcon, and I am excited.

Holy buggernuts, people. MoP looks awesome. Pandaren! Monks! Giant Turtle Islands! New, better talent system! I personally cannot wait. This new expansion is looking really good.

Unsurprisingly, there are lots of people losing their shit over the new stuff. Makes sense - it's all new, but it's new new and utterly different, especially the new talent system. And I wouldn't mind if people were being reasonable in voicing their complaints, but of course they have to scream, make threats, and generally act like a bunch of rabid monkeys.

If you know me, you know I love Cracked. So, in Cracked style, I represent the biggest complaints people seem to be leveling at the game in list form, in the hope that I can calm those who are freaking out.

1. "OMG, PANDAS? What a cheap way to capitalise on Kung-Fu Panda. This is going to ruin WoW."

I don't think any of these people realizes that the Pandaren were a race that's been around since Warcraft III (which has been around since 2002, and Frozen Throne hit the shelves during 2003), and is in no real way trying to capitalise on any fame garnered by the Kung-Fu Panda movies (which hit movie theaters in 2008). I can see where people are coming from - the Pandaren do look extremely like the titular panda in Kung-Fu Panda, but that's because their both anthropomorphic panda martial artists. Hey, maybe the Kung-Fu Panda people was stealing from Blizzard?

Then there's criticism leveled at the Pandarens themselves, which staggers me. Pandarens? Lame? I don't even have the words. Saying Pandarens are lame is like saying dragons are lame. There is nothing lame about a dragon. They are the goddamn antithesis of lame, and Pandarens are pretty damn close.

Also, they're complaining about how the whole Asian feel of Pandaria is trite and uncreative, which... wow. Where were these guys when WoW first launched, huh?

"Humans living in large European castles and a forest-y farmland? How original. Next, we'll have elves living in forests and dwarves wielding axes and wearing thick plated armour and living in snowy mountai- OH WAIT."

So, if people can handle the most overused fantasy tropes for so long, then why should they freak out when they see panda people living in lush forests with buildings that have a very distinct Asian feel to them? I don't think I've ever really encountered that in a game before.

I think that people are less worried about how unoriginal the asain panda people are, but are using that as a mask for what they're actually worried about - World of Warcraft is changing, and this change brings with it some radically different stuff. So, to hide their fear of the change and what it will do to their game, they throw hate at it.

Which segues nicely into the biggest complaint I'm seeing about the new expansion...

2. "WTF BLIZZARD! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THE TALENTS? Omg, this is going to ruin WoW."

I feel very strongly about this, because I had the idea first (I came up with it early september). I know this is an awesome idea because it's my fucking idea (this, for the most part, is very similar to MoP's talent tree, and the page was posted on the 24 of September 2011). I don't care if the dev team at Blizzard actually thought of it as well - the point is, late one night, I sat down and thought of ways to improve the standard talent system we see in World of Warcraft and League of Legends. I was concerned that there was no real customization - you picked a certain branch at the start, and had to deal with all the bad of that branch to get to the good.

For example, if you were a tank, you chose the tank tree and pumped points into that. If you were a DPS guy, you would choose the DPS tree. You could stand next to another player of the same class of the same role (say, PvE DPS Warrior) and be virtually identical in build and talent spec. When you got to level ten, you picked the Fury tree if you were PvE, the Arms tree if you were PvE and the Protection tree if you were a tank. That's it - there was no real choice. "I have a shield, therefore I am a Protection warrior."

League of Legends is very similar - you are forced to make a decision about which branch to take at the beginning, and afterwards all future decisions are automatic. If you're a Physical DPS, it's 21/0/9. If you're a tank, it's 0/21/9. If your a caster, it's 9/0/21. Deviations from those three builds are seen as strange and ineffective, and you can guarantee that at least 3 other players have the exact same talent build.

So, I sat there, thinking away, and then thought of an idea - a tier based 'tree', where you got a point every five or so levels. You would put that point in one of three 'talents' of that tier. You could only have one 'talent' per tier, but you could change it fairly easily (just hit the reset button whenever you want (not while in game, though)). This would give people a lot more choice in the long run, and let people choose talents that actually suited them, instead of making more of the standard builds. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance.

Then I saw the MoP talent calculator on Wowhead. It was, in essence, my idea. Then I saw the MoP Panel at Blizzcon. It was, in essence, my thinking. It was pretty freaky.

The point, though, is this new talent system is an excellent idea, and not just because it's mine. It discourages the rigid cookie-cutter builds that WoW currently has, and has the player thinking "I have a bunch of choices here. What do I want my warrior to do?" instead of having to choose the Fury tree because you're a PvE warrior, no exceptions. (Well, maybe. You could potentially be an Arms warrior in PvE, but you'd get yelled at.)

What really pisses me off about the hate centered around this is people are using the talent change as a bade for their "They're dumbing down WoW" argument, which is insane. I'm sorry, but there is no way the old talent system is smarter than the new one. I can't get my head around it - the new talent system incourages thinking about what you want your class to do, while the old one told you what your class could do. Which one is better!? Being told what you can and can't do as a Warrior, or being able to choose what you can and can't do as a Warrior?


But, it's all because it's new and different. They've enjoyed the terrible talent system WoW currently has because it was there since (kind of) the start (and lest we forget the talent tree shortening in Cataclysm), and now the devs are replacing it with a new, different, ultimately better system, but because it's new and different they're freaking out and going all Doomsayer on us.

At the end of the day, I can't really blame them. It's human nature to be averse to change. I understand. But trust me when I say the new talent system is definitely a change for the better. I know that when Mists of Pandaria rolls around, I'm not going to be a Fury Warrior, or a Arms Warrior, or even a Protection Warrior - I'm going to be my own damn Warrior. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the opposite of dumbing down.

That is smartening up.

Friday, September 30, 2011

First Impressions: Bloodline Champions

I'm going to go on the record and say that I loves me some Massive Online Battle Arena (hereafter refered to as MOBA).

It started with Demigod, which was ultrafun, and then there was the various DotA clones on Warcraft III's I stopped for a while - Demigod, while a great game, was getting a bit boring, and I lost my Warcraft III keys.

But then a friend told me about League of Legends, and my love for the genre was renewed again.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: League of Legends is pretty much perfect. The more I think about that statement, the more true it becomes for me. Riot Games have been pushing the genre forward in ways none of the other DotA's have been (in my opinion), especially with the recent addition of Dominion.

So, because I love me some MOBA, I tried some other MOBAs. Specifically, Rise of the Titans, Rise of Immortals, Heroes of Newerth, and Bloodline Champions. Maybe we'll get to the other three on a later date, but right now I want to talk about the last one on that list.

Bloodline Champions, like all the MOBA's mentioned (aside from Demigod) is a free-to-play microtransactions game. But what sets BC apart from every single other MOBA game ever is it's controls.

To move, you use the W-A-S-D keys. I'll give you a second to re-read that again.
This is a massive problem. The mouse is fluid, and allows precision. Making me use the W-A-S-D keys for movement in a top down view game makes me feel like I'm driving a goddamn tank. But I'm not, I'm driving people, which makes it seem stiff and unnatural.

And then you've got the attacks. Left-click for a basic attack, Right-click for a different attack. I was playing the Igniter during the tutorial level. Using the W-A-S-D keys was bad enough, but using them as well as the mouse for basic attacks was just wierd, and then I had to use Q, E, R and I think Z and F (I could be wrong, all I remember was they were in a stupid place) for all my abilities, which just feels so awkward.

I have no idea what they were thinking. Maybe they were trying to be innovative, but it's stupid innovation. I felt like I was driving a lumbering hunk of steel, not controlling a living, breathing thing. I didn't play any more after the tutorial.

And looking through the Bloodline Champions site, they have some really fascinating heroes, with interesting abilities. Too bad the game's control scheme is too alien for me to get used to.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A review: Age of Chivalry

I don't exactly know HOW I acquired this game. One day, it showed up unannounced on my Steam list, along with a bunch of other Source games. I wasn't about to complain, of course, but it was strange nonetheless.

One of these games was called Age of Chivalry, a first person Source game set in the middle ages where you got to mess around with medieval weapons like bows, crossbows and giant swords, usually while either attacking or defending a castle.

Sounded great, right? It got even better when I actually loaded the game and saw, instead of the usual Options, Quit, Join Server buttons, they had replaced them with things like Chicken Out (Quit) and Join a Crusade (Join Server). Sure, it took me a while to realize that Blacksmith's Workshop was the Options screen and Start a Campaign was Create a Server, but I thought "Finally, a bunch of people with a soul."

So, getting into the game, I discovered that Age of Chivalry is big on historical accuracy. Not the map side of things, but in the weapons. For example, it is literally impossible to aim properly with any of the ranged weapons - you can't 'look down the sights' on a Crossbow and god only knows where the Longbow is going to launch your arrow. Funny story: after missing the enemy target again and again, my arrow finally flew true - straight into an allied soldier's kidney. And I think I might have accidentally killed him.

And then there are the swords. Not only is it a total bastard to swing a large sword, but it's very hard to actually hit someone with it. You'd think a greatsword would be able to separate the top halves from the bottom halves of any poor, unlucky bastard or bastards in front of you the moment you swing it, but I suspect the game designers thought that would be a bit too overpowered, and thus the greatsword will only hit if it's right on the mark, and it never is.

Not that they tell you where the hell the mark even is - that's one of the reasons it's so impossibly difficult to hit someone with an arrow or crossbow bolt; no crosshairs. It's almost like they designed it to be as needlessly difficult as possible.

Perhaps some of the blame lies with the Source engine. It's a simple engine that (as I understand it) is fairly easy for developers to get into. Then again, there was nothing to stop those devs from putting in crosshairs. Or, perhaps, showing a shining arc that tells the player where the projectile is going to fly and even land, because that would help archers immensely, but no. No love for snipers in this day and age, I suppose, something that Black Ops beat into me with almost religious fervor.

This is not to say the concept is bad - in fact, I kinda like the idea. But it needs to be implemented better, and definitely with an engine that caters to it's needs, since most of the fighting is melee oriented And there really needs to be something to help the long range guys, like one of those suggestions I gave earlier.

Oh, and the server I was on was full of stupid American teenagers, and the average chat went like this:

Guy A: I need to take a piss.
Guy B: Your mom needs to take a piss.

That conversation really did happened. I wish I could say otherwise.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

League of Legends (The Good, Bad, and the Downright Hideous)

Recently, I've been playing a lot of League of Legends. I wouldn't say that it's my new favourite indie game, but it's way up there.

Seriously, as free* games go, this has to be one of the best I've played. If you like DotA and DotA like games, and can't wait for the highly anticipated release, and what could possibly be the most groundbreaking and innovative 'DotA' of all time that is DotA 2**, give this a try.

League of Legends has a bunch of things going for it. For one, there are so many heroes to choose from it's virtually impossible to not find one that you like. It has a 'rune' system, where runes increase certain stats like critical strike chance and mana regeneration (and many many more) letting the player customize their character however they want to, and that is enforced even more with the Mastery system, which is essentially WoW's talent tree system but worse.

I was hoping to segue into that with a bit more finesse. Hmm.

Well, let's get right to it - League of Legends is nearly a perfect game if it were not for these two limitations.
A) Trial-and-Error is the only way to tell if a certain hero is to your liking, and when games can take up to 45 minutes (or more) to complete, that's a lot of time for you to call yourself stupid for not choosing Tryndamere (or whatever your preferred Champion is).
B) The 'Mastery' system is stupid, because the stat boosts are pathetically small to make any kind of difference.

Remember the old telent trees for World of Warcraft? Remember how you just bypassed talents that increased your chance to hit by a measely 3% at the highest level because you considered it a waste of everyone's time***? Well, half the talents in all three Mastery trees are exactly that kind of talent - pointless wastes of time because you would much rather spend your well earned talent point on something that actually improves something. Or more importantly, visibly improves something.

Increassing my attack speed by whole 4% after putting four points into the talent (1 point per level) just doesn't sit well with me. Who the hell is going to notice a 4% attack speed increase? And niether does increasing my damage output by 5% after putting roughly 20 points into the tree itself. After 21 levels, all I have to show for it is a 5% increase in damage?

What's perplexing is the Rune system already has the whole 'stat increase' thing completely covered, so why the developers for League of Legends thought to even include the Mastery system in the first place confuzzles**** me.

I would do one of two things - either remove the Mastery business entirely or renovate it. If you're going to make it look like the WoW talent tree, you might as well keep up with the Joneses and make each tree less about improving stats and sometimes giving you useful stuff and more about specifically improving your character.

I've been thinking about this for a bit, and I may have a solution*****. Replace the 'Utility' tree with the 'Magica' tree, and make that ree al about mana and ability power. Make the 'Defensive' tree all about armour and blocking damage, and make the 'Offensive' tree all about critical strikes, dealing damage, etc.

Then make the 'Utility' tree a "sub tree", that acts more like a Trait system- hang on, just bear with me here.

At level 1, level 5 and every 5 levels after, you would get a point to spend on the Utility tree. The Utility tree contains things that would benifit any player; things like gold aquisition, effectiveness of items in one way or another, and cooldown of summoner abilities, and other bonuses.

Doing something like this would be really good for the 2.0 patch. And if the guys at Riot Games are planning on doing something big like this for the 2.0 patch, could they also retcon Fiddlesticks out of existence? I hate that guy.

* Free to play, that is. So for, I've given them $10 USD for Riot Points, the game's other currency.
** You could smell the sarcasm, couldn't you?
*** I sure as hell did.
**** Being "confuzzled" is like being confused, but also being puzzled. It's twice as worse as either.
***** Remember, you saw it here first.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The annual KFM Gaming Awards

I'm going to be honest with you; I haven't really been paying much attention to the games I am/have been playing to come up with a proper list this time 'round. It'll be much better this year.

But, here we are. Let's get this snowball rolling.

-The "I Liked Your Sister Better" Award-
for Minigime That Was More Fun Than The Actual Game

I know what you're thinking - Lost Viking from Starcraft II, right?

Well, no. For one, StarCraft II is a lot more fun than Lost Viking. Second, by minigame I mean any smaller 'game' that was packaged with the actual game, such as... well, that neat little part of Spore that you didn't spend on the editor, for example. Or those, I guess you could call them minigames where you were tasked to kill a specific someone in the first Assassin's Creed game, as opposed to just killing time being a rooftop dwelling Batman - saving people from guards and following people into a dark alley to rough the up a bit before gutting them.

But the winner of this award was actually seperate to the 'real' game. It's a little sad I had more fun with you than I did the campaign, my friend.

I am, of course, refering to Call of Duty: Black Ops - Nazi Zombies. Whatever complaint I have with Nazi Zombies, be it stupid team mates, the random box not showing up where it's supposed to, or stupid fucking team mates, Nazi Zombies is still a great minigame, one I hope Treyarch makes into a proper game, with more levels, larger levels, more customization in guns, etc. And nothing beats picking up a Thundergun and watching the Nazi undead fly across the room like evil zombified paper dolls in a hurricane wind.

-The "Giving the Ring to Saruman" Award-
for The Most Mind Boggling Decision in Gaming

There are many healthy candidates for this award - almost too many. Make no mistake, this is aimed not at characters, but at companies. And there's no better company to aim this particular cannon at than Activision.

I really don't know how Mr. Kotic is still the CEO of Activision. It's like he doesn't care that the gaming community hates hi, his company, and his stupid face.

But I'm going to rotate this cannon a wee bit and aim slightly to the right. It brings me great displeasure to say this, Patch 4.0 for World of Warcraft, but you win this award.


I don't know which one of you did this, but patch 4.0 did a lot of annoying things. For one, it rendered more than one addon (I'm looking at QuestHelper in particular) totally useless and incompatable.
But, the worst thing, and most mind boggling thing, patch 4.0 wrought upon Azeroth was the removal of information.

Back in the good old days of World of Warcraft, a spell or ability would actually tell you how much damage it did or how much healing it did.

Previously, the shaman healing spell Healing Wave told you how much healing it dished out. Now, the tooltip just says "Heals a friendly target".
It's not just healing spells. Some shocks are also missing damage information, and some buffs forget to tell you how long it'll be active for.

But it's not just shamans! It's effected every single class. But what's wierd is it's only effected certain abilities. Some abilities tell you exactly what they do, and some are more vague than telling someone to 'look for a gamer-type nerd' at Blizzcon.

It's mind boggling on three levels.
1. There was no real reason to do it, at all.
2. Only certain spells are effected - why? Why not go all out?
3. The numerical information is actually on the spell effect/buff icon in your top right corner, so why the fuck couldn't you have just put it in the goddamn tooltip in the first place?

-The "Dead Babies On The Walls. Staring. Judging." Award-
for Scariest Game

A lot of people can't quite grasp true horror these days. It's not about having some multi-armed freak bursting out of a door and going "AGARBLEWARGLE" at you. Because you could do the exact same thing in any game - a WWII shooter where a german kicks down a door, runs out and starts yelling at you. Or perhaps an RTS where the enemy are burrowed and you bring your force in the middle of it, and then BAMB. Ambush.

No, a horror game must be crafted, from start to finish. Someone making a real horror game has to really think not just about what would really scare the hell out of a player, but what would unnerve that player. What would make that player on edge the whole damn time. What would truely terrify the player.

No other game deserves this more than you, Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

For one thing, the game is dark. It's opressive. You keep hearing noises - footsteps on hard wooden floors. A baby crying. Even the ambient soundtrack does everything it can to make the player as jumpy and shaky as possible, so when they do wheel out the standard enemy you'll be running from, it makes it all the scarier.

Did I mention you don't have any weapons? Faced with a bad guy, you have two choices - run and hide, or get eaten. And by bad guy, I mean this... thing.

The atmosphere is very unsettling. Even rooms that are completely safe and monster free keep you on edge. And when they do wheel out the monsters, it's either an intense chase (I swear those guys run slightly faster than you) or a horrific death.

I haven't finished it yet. I officially abandoned the game when I got to the prisons (that's the one where you ride the elevator down) because I didn't want to deal with any more of... whatever the hell they are.

-The "Slamming Your Head Against A Desk Won't Make It Any Better" Award-
for Most Frustrating Game

This game gets this award purely because of the controls. Every other aspect of this game is damn near perfect - the story, the characters, the soundtrack, most of the gameplay, all great.

But the controls. Oh god, the controls. It's like I'm operating some kind of caffinated squirrel that just wants to half run up walls and doesn't understand that you're just trying to jump from one beam to another.

And most of the time it'll switch to the guard with full health instead of the one which is bending over in pain, just waiting for your weapon of choice to be buried in his back.

In fact, if it wern't for the controls it would be my favourite game of the year. Literally, everything else about this game is pretty much perfect.

I refer, of course... to Assassin's Creed II.

Maybe it's the fact that it was ported from consoles to PC. Maybe it was just designed this way (although that seems unlikely). Whatever the reason, Assassin's Creed II has some of the most frustrating platform sections I've ever played. And while Assassin's Creed II is far, far better than Assassin's Creed is damn near every way, they share the same awful control problem.

And those damn minstrels. Thank god I can just pick their pocket to make them bugger off.

-The "Golden Block" Award-
for Best Indie Game

I would give this award to Amnesia: The Dark Descent if it wern't for the fact that A) it already has an award and B) it's too bloody frightning for me to keep going.

No, there is another game out there who deserves this award. A game that started small. It was nothing more than a big box, with a bunch of little boxes you could use to make stuff. But now, the game world is infinite, and you can make so many wonderful things, even though you're still constrained to using big cubes.

You've figured it out by now. Come up here, Minecraft.

For all of Minecraft's faults, such as buggy multiplayer and creepers, it really is the best indie game to come out this year. I have a lot of fun with it, and apart from spiders and goddamn creepers, it's a beautiful, fun game that I highly recommend.

-The "Oh Screw It, Let's Just Call It The 'Angry Birds' Award" Award-
for Worst Indie Game

With the intrigue and subtlety of the award cut away like a combine harvester cuts grain (and any inconvenient evidence), the worst indie game I played this year was Angry Birds.

Not only was it both frustrating and unforgiving, but it was done much better somewhere else - a game called Crush the Castle (and here's the second one).

While Angry Birds forced you to use certain birds for any given castle, CtC will let you choose your load out on the fly. The main reason for doing this is so you can go back to later levels with the triple bomb projectile and watch the castle that gave you so much difficulty back then fall beneath the sound of three satisfying explosions and the cries of the castle occupants.

Angry Birds not only won't let you do that but makes you complete levels with birds that are simply not suited to the task.

And most of the time the birds need to hit EXACTLY these places at EXACTLY the right time or you'll have to start all over again.

-The "My Name Is Commander Shepard, And I Have Too  Many Favourite Stores On THe Citadel" Award-
for Good Games of 2010

Man, this is never an easy award to hand out. I played a lot of good games, and I know full well that there's no such thing as a perfect game.

Unfortunately, I don't have a favourite game this year. I've played some really good games, but none of them really stand out in my mind as being a favourite.

But, because I'm a kind and generous person,all those games I've listed up there win this award.
And here's why.

- Assassin's Creed II: This game wins this award because it's improved so much. Assassin's Creed was bland, and Altiar wasn't very interesting as a character. Fast forward to Assassin's Creed II, and they solved the HELL out of those two problems. It's better in every way to the original.

- Amnesia: The Dark Descent: This game wins this award because it's just so good. As terrifying as it is, I can't help but love it to pieces for it's brilliantly crafted atmosphere and excellent audio. Gameplay's damn good, too.

- Minecraft: As frustrating as loosing your inventory to a casual creeper explosion or a drop into lava, Minecraft has done the impossible - it is the true sandbox game, and an infinite one at that. It's just a hell of a lot of fun.

- Fallout: New Vegas: I haven't played much of F:NV, but what I have played is pretty good. It's brighter than Fallout 3. It's still a wasteland, but at least it's not a grey wasteland populated by wankers and mutants who want nothing more than to stick your head on a pike.

Of course, the bloody merchants I sell my stolen loot to (I am, and will always be, a kleptomaniac in the Fallout universe) never 'regenerate' caps, so I can't keep selling to them.
- Black Ops - Multiplayer: The campaign is fine, and Nazi Zombies is a lot of fun, but Multiplayer is where I spend a lot of my time. It's annoying in several areas, and could use some serious redesign, but... I can't say it's a bad game.

- Killing Floor: I played the christmas edition of Killing Floor and loved it. Seriously, shooting an undead gingerbread man in the face with two desert eagles has never, and will never be, more fun.

- Mass Effect 2: This could have been my game of the year, almost. The game is great. But the whole planet scanning/mining mechanic is more boring than watching dry, white paint.

- Just Cause 2: It's massive. That means plenty to explore and plenty to destroy, and executing a perfect assault on a base with the right weapons and well placed explosives can make for barrels of fun. Of course, it's massive. And trying to get 100% completion is insane.

- StarCraft II: Campaign's good, and while the editor is a confusing and purpously difficult thorny tangle of data, I hear it can make some amazing things.

-The "15 Year Old School Leaver" Award-
for Biggest Dissapointment of 2010

The game that most dissapointed me is actually an easy choice.

Reviewers called it 'zen like', as if playing it was relaxing. I imagine it would have been if it wasn't so mindbogglingly boring. I regret paying for it. Thank god I bought it on a steam sale, I'd never forgive myself if I payed full price for it.

The main character is some kind of underwater tellytubby, floating through rocky caverns lighting up plants. And collecting instrument playing monkeys.

There's nothing too it. It's boring as dirt, the puzzles are meh, and the soundtrack is weak.

Please step forward, The UnderGarden.

I expected more than an arty game. I expected an actual puzzle game that wasn't trying to appeal to little children by being all about colourful plants and some underwater telly tubby pulling along a instrument playing monkey. I knew I was in trouble when a big letter G in a green field came out of nowhere.

-The "Feed The Dev Team Broken Glass" Award
for Worst Game of 2010

Unlike my Best Games award, this one is very straightforward. This has to be the worst mainstream game I've played in 2010.

It doesn't win the award because it has subpar gameplay and this tedious mechanic (although it does). It doesn't win because the actors are weak, except for the main (dare I say) only real character (even though it does). It doesn't even win because it just feels... unpolished.

It wins because it seems like a massive implied insult to the entire series it ended.
(And also for all the above, but the last reason expecially.)

I played this game and instantly regretted paying money for it. In fact, the only good thing about the game was it came with a free tee-shirt.

The developers could have ended the series on a classy note. They could have gone "You know what, lets try to make this one like one of our first games and try to return to those 'good old days'."

But no, they had to go and end the whole damn franchise on a terrible, feces ridden note. A note that came packaged with a couple of plague rats if you thought it wasn't smelly enough.

Please step forward, Command and Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight.

You murdered the Command and Conquer series so thoroughly, C&C4. Instead of trying to be one of your earlier games, you made it jump on the particular RTS bandwagon where you didn't have to build a base. Even worse, you tried to integrate multiplayer with single player, and it seemed like you tried to make the game like a multiplayer first person shooter - you get more cool stuff the more you progress through the game.

Problem is, that just doesn't fucking work for a Real Time Strategy. Not that you cared, EA. You didn't want to end the C&C series with a bang. You wanted to use the last game as an experiment for a game mechanic no RTS has even used, and with damn good reason.

THAT is why you earn this reward, C&C4. You're an insult wrapped in a bad gameplay mechanic wrapped in an unpolished game.

Tee-shirt was alright though.