[ Shihiko° × Game。]

About Games. by Shihiko°

August 4th, 2010

Wow… I played Starcraft II this week, it was released last week and well I have to say… it is beyond very good. Starcraft being a game that I used to play and owned on PC well is a classic, and this sequel kind of blows it all away. I was never a fan of Terran but I did enjoy this first release of the three part story of the game so far.

This won’t be a review on the game because I am not hardcore at the game enough at the series to be qualified to speak about the games specifics. However I will discuss a little on the success of this sequel… starting with some history. Starcraft the original was a game I used to play with my friends early high school years… back then my friends and I each went with a different race, I picked Protoss and the other two picked Terran and Zerg. I was probably quite average at the game, while one of the two friends became really good at the game. Eventually it wasn’t any fun to play against that friend at all… and the other friend kind of didn’t play that much anyway so lacked practice.

That didn’t mean the game wasn’t any good… just that Starcraft is one of those games that apart from the Story/Campaign Mode you’re supposed to play with other people to enjoy it. One of the other things that people could enjoy was Custom Maps with Use Map Settings. I met a few people Online on Battle.net back then who were really good at making Custom games… It was great, I also learnt a lot about making them myself… but one thing about this version is that the custom maps are really hard to come by, also the map editor is way too complex now… I think by the time you learnt how to use it and make really decent stuff with it, you probably could have created your own game, programmed it and released it and get paid for your work. Even though this map editor lets you make a game that is completely different to what Starcraft is meant to be, it seems like it is going to be a long while until we see something really interesting.

Before I even played the Campaign Mode, I actually hopped on Battle.net under a friend’s account. I played a few games as Protoss then logged off… the Online interface was quite confusing actually, I clicked around trying to figure out how it works and all of a sudden I was sent into a game with a random person that I didn’t get to select. Dark Templars made waste of the opponent but that could have been some newbie that just happened to play Starcraft for the first time ever from this release. There was no interaction or chatting involved with me and the other player. I felt that was a little poor. I guess it is hard to chat in an Real-Time-Strategy game, but Blizzard seemed to have removed the Online Chat rooms in the new Battle.net system… What’s the deal with that? Part of going online to play games is to interact with people you are playing with so you know they are human not just [Korean] bots. One of the things about the old chat rooms was that I actually met the people who made the cool maps that I was playing through them and became friends because of the conversations I was able to have with the players when not concentrating on commanding my units. You do get a small lobby to chat in before a game starts but nothing once the game ends…

Well let’s head offline… Oh wait you can’t… When you play the game, you need a valid Starcraft II Battle.net account logged in so you can play Single Player Story/Campaign Mode. The nice thing about this is, your progress is saved on a cloud system. So you can technically go to your friend’s house and play the game from where you last finished at home. The bad thing, well you cannot play under your account if you aren’t online. However if the copy of the game is activated, you can play offline under Guest Mode… there is three guest slots that you can play Campaign Mode under… probably so you can make different choices each time you play for a different story. Which is pretty nice especially if you know someone who has the game, and you only want to try it out… Ask them to come around and install it and play online a little bit to show you then you’ll have a copy of Starcraft II that you can play the Story/Campaign Mode/Vs AI Mode whenever you want. Oh and yeah, no Local Area Network Mode for Offline Multiolayer.

Now the game… Again I’d just like to say wow… I don’t think they missed much when it comes down to the essence of Starcraft. Unlike other franchises or sequels to games that I have played Starcraft II did not fall short or drop anything that maintain the Starcraft feel. I ran the game on my notebook at 1920×1200 with most graphics settings turned down so I would have smooth game play without compromise… the game still looked great. The interface was good and the way you are put through between the missions and menus looked and felt right. Though I did find annoying that the top row of tabs during game can sometimes get in the way of clicking on units and opens up one of menus occasionally. Overall the Game Play, System and Story was top notch. It is satisfying to play through along with the special extras that are available to the Single Player Campaign makes or gives the mode some replay value which is a nice touch.

That’s about it really… Unless you want to read some spoilers or weird things that I tried while playing… Continue?

So apart from being able to play the game under a guest account after someone has activated the game with a Starcraft II Battle.net account, there was other things I did to mess with the game. While playing as Protoss in the Story, there was one mission at the end where you had to defend until you die… I filled up half the base with Warp Gates and kept warping in Stalkers… it worked pretty well but it was a shame that you cannot go beyond the boundaries of the map when clearly you could see the units were coming in from the outside when you kill off all the surrounding Zerg units.

Once with maximum Zerg Research points, Terrans can build an Hive Emulator sort of thing which basically lets you control Zerg units after you cast the effect on them. Well from then on I just farmed those towers and waiting for Zerg to come attack and I would take over all their units that came to attack. I would eventually gather up a bunch of Zerg units to use to carry out the rest of the mission. This was particularly funny when at the final stage the energy wave that is emitted is supposed to wipe out any Zerg DNA Units within the vicinity and the blast wave didn’t kill any of them once they are under my control.

Another mission you have to rescue units and fight through a huge area of Zerg to reach a crash site. Well I mind controlled a few Broodlords then used their brood to attack the units I had to rescue and it worked. Since the broods are units you can actually control and are ground units, they trigger the flag for the game and allow you to rescue the units. As another short cut for the stage I set up a small base behind a corner where the Zerg base is and controlled units slowly then saved the crash site without having to go through the onslaught of Zerg and maintaining my base. I found that keeping my base alive and trying to save those people was too work especially when the minerals on the map were quite limited. I kept all my units and took some SCVs out and sat on a vacant piece of high land then proceeded to execute the plan. The base stayed alive without me and I could covertly mind control the Zerg units so they could do the dirty work for me. :)

Then there was another mission which you are supposed to destroy some towers to blow up some platforms… I worked really hard trying to find a place that could build a Hive Emulator near a drone only to find the game gives the message “cannot target drone units.” I mean I can understand they did that for the bosses or hero units so you don’t break the missions, but it was already pretty hard to even get close to a drone without it being destroyed while disabling other units. That was no fun.

Thor is probably the most enjoyable new unit to play around with. Apart from blatantly being an Arnold Schwarzenegger stereotype unit, if you made a bunch of them and then put an SCV to move with the group it is pretty hard to find the SCV and it will just keep repairing them if they are losing health. Also the Immortal Protocol upgrade makes them quite an interesting unit.

  • Shihiko (29)
  • Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.