Train Fever, tries to be Transport Tycoon.

Train Fever is a Transport Tycoon clone, a good old fashioned economic tycoon simulator. Good, as it’s always nice to see these kind of games, they are getting fairly rare these days. Old, because the core economic game, is utterly imcomprehensible to any human form of thought.

I’m not kidding, oh on the surface, this game is fairly straightforward, buy trucks, trams, busses and (theoretically) trains, transport crap from A to B to C etc… Build roads, railroads, busstops, trainstations, bridges ad all that which is best in life.

Sounds fairly straightforward, eh? Well it isn’t, it really, really isn’t.

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In Transport Tycoon, all stations have a chatchment area, in which they’ll pick up cargo and passengers, of there are any around, and if any lines are able to tranport them. If there aren’t any of those two, nothing happens.

In Train Fever, stations present an opertunity for passengers/cargo to get to their destination, and they will base their go/no go decision on travel time. How do you predict travel time? You can’t, you really can’t, not unless you’re some deranged purestrain hyper-sperging autism machine, who will joyfully calculated the time, based on virtual feedback, experimentation and the very quantum uncertaincy of the goddamn universe. Seriously, you’d have to be utterly mental to figure it out, no sane human being could ever do so.

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So making money can be incredibly obtuse, for passengers, not for cargo, oh no, cargo is a piece of cake. It’ll simply take the fastest route to the nearest reciving destination, and it’ll either trickle towards the avaliable destinations (Steel Mills, Saw mills and refineries) or take your MUCH faster trucks, so that’s not really an issue. However, the generic goods that the factories vomit forth? Now that one’s nice and obtuse as hell. The maximum amount of generic goods factories can produce, and thus also the amount of unprocessed goods they’ll recieve, is determined by the amount of goods the nearby cities will recieve, meaning that the optimal solution for industrial profit, is a processing site, surrounded by three or more cities, all who’ll recieve plenty of goods, now that’ll generate a solid profit.

So, that’s Truck Fever for you, plenty of fun with trucks.

As for busses and trams? Utterly unpredicatable and not even remotely straightforward, due to the travel time issue, sometimes they’ll trickle in some form of profit, but their use is almost entirely used for feeding train stations. As it should be, very realistic.

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And here we arrive, at the elephant in the room, the terror, the dread, the trains.

And they are ever so fucked, not intially of couse, in the early start of 1850, people don’t really have cars, so you’re trains? They are the only real choice, no way in hell are anyone going InterCity without your gleaming trains. And this state of joy last to somewhere around 1950, when the car arrive, as in the real world. And I guess I now know how the railroad tycoons of the era must have felt when Fords fucking Model T came along and ruined everything.

The early days are the good days, cheap trains, cheap to run, no other choice, plenty of money.

And here’s the best part, unless you somehow manage to REALLY slash the travel times, people will just take their goddamn fucking cars, like a bunch of Americans, the only remote success I had with trains, where dirt cheap railbuses, and a shitton of them, but even that, doesn’t really cut in the long run. Even tried an EXTREME long distance route straight across the map, still no success.

It becomes virtually impossible to make any money from trains, after the cars fuck everything up, cargo’s doing just fine, as they don’t spawn cars at any time, but trains? Nope, ain’t gonna happen.

Unless the devs tweak the amount of passengers, or the ticket fees or the maintainence costs of the damn trains, it’ll remain incredibly hard to actually make any money of trains after 1950, which is kinda bad, with a name like Train Fever.

Graphically, it looks okay, not terrible well optimized.

If the economy was a lot less obtuse and better balanced, this game would be recommendable, unfortunately, it isn’t recommnedable at all at present.

Omerta – City of Gangsters deserves concrete shoes

Omerta – City of Gangsters deserves concrete shoes

Omerta – City of Gangsters is a turn based tactical strategy game, blended into a crime simulator, set in prohibition era Atlantic City. Or is it? It isn’t. It’s a shallow crime building simulator, where combat encounters are done via turn based tactical action, similar to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Or is it? It kinda isn’t. It’s actually a shallow crime building simulator, with a nor terrible impressive turn based combat encounter system bolted to it, and the similarity to XCOM is strictly theoretical.

It’s the latest game from Haemimont Games, known for their remastering of the Tropico franchise, and horribly overpriced German publisher Kalypso Media, known for their outdated habit of demanding preposterous sums for shallow games, small DLC and similar such villanous deeds. Like demanding 30€ and more for this wreck of a game. For fucks sake guys, i loved Tropico 4, stop doing this shit, Dungeons was a pile of useless waste too.

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Now that I’ve mentioned Tropico 4, I can mention it some more! Wait, just kidding, you’re not getting the pleasure of me talking about a good game, I was going to mention who they’re using the same damned engine, thus cutting costs even further, hell, it even reuses several bits and pieces of Tropico’s art assets, even a couple of voice actors get paid again. Should mention that they voice actors are actually very good, and have, duty done.

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Crime Simulators doesn’t pay.

Omerta – City of Gangsters is simple, and due to it’s simplicity, it’s easy as hell to play. The simulation have a theme of duality. Illegal (dirty) and legal (clean) cash, liked and feared ratings, joints and premises. The dirty cash is used for the setup of illegal activities, the clean for construction sites and little else. Liked ratings improve some activities, mostly gambling, and feared makes shit cheaper and pawn shops better. Not that you would ever build more than one speakeasy, boxing ring and similar, seeing as diminishing returns makes yet another ugly appearance here.

The gameplay is nice and simple, you rent joints and premises, and make your money using a limited range of illegal and semi-legal activities, some are logical, like speakeasies and nightclubs needing supplies of beer from breweries and liquor from disteleries, in order to rake in the dough. Other? Less so. Like the pizzaria that makes people fear you? I really don’t recall the part of the Godfather where Don Corleone spread fear through a fucking pizza hut.

Throughout most of the empire-building parts of the game, your opposition is pre-programmed and lacking, little if any AI will present you with any opposition, and the lack of any sort of logically located speed-up function can and will make the game hideous and slow.

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XCOM is weeping for it’s lesser cousin, for it has lost its way.

The turn based combat, oh dear merciful Eris, daughter of Chaos, preserve us all, it’s not very good. I’ll make a presumption, and presume that you have all played the new XCOM:Enemy Unknown, which I know declare the benchmark of turn-based squad gameplay.

Omerta’s connection to the shinning beacon of XCOM, is technical at best, in XCOM, cover was basically everywhere you could see, a tree was cover, a car, a wall. In Omerta? Only where the programmers have determined it to be, can you find cover, so where it’s instinctual in XCOM, it becomes illogically flawed in Omerta.

The complete lack of any serious customization beyond slightly better guns makes the game even shallower. There’s no armour, so when the game ramps up the difficulty, oh boy, does shit ever die. It becomes a matter of luck if you can even manage to drag all your gangsters through a combat mission.

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Should I play this?

No. You really shouldn’t, perhaps with an expansion pack it might become more interesting, and if Steam comes around with a giant sale, you could pick it up, if you are so desperate for a Gangster empire builder.

If you chose to ignore me, you can find it on Steam and on GOG.com.

However, if you want a tough-as-nails crime simulator? I suggest Gangsters: Organized Crime. With the warning, that I suck at it.

I give it 36/100.

The Pointless labyrinthine story of Sluggy Freelance

Sluggy Freelance, a comic that was intially started by Ptahoptep, Vizier of Djedkare Isesi around 2500 BC, the date of the start of it, has fortunately been lost to history.


Oldest Recorded instance of Sluggy Freelance.

Sluggy Freelance is a fucking ancient webcomic, starting out when the Internet was still young and full of porno, which it still is, it’s just of a higher resolution. It’s absolutely ancient and the story lines makes no sense at all. It’s a confusing mess of random crap, old memes and painfully slow “stories”.


Oldest Modern recording of Sluggy Freelance.

It has a gallery of characters which, for it’s time, was pretty fitting: Lazy nerd guy, crazy inventor guy, crazy evil chick and a completely normal young woman, who at this stage, should have lost her mind a long time ago.

In addition, such wonderful supporting characters as: A talking rabbit, an alien that keeps changing shape; pretty sure it’s presently in the shape of a furry’s wet dream and a crazy one-eyed old inventor guy.


RAAAAAAAAANDOM!

Nothing that has been happening in this comic makes any sense any more, it’s been running for so painfully long, that absolutely nothing happens any more. The drawing has been slightly improving over time, SLIGHTLY!

You’d think that after 4.500 years of drawing this crap, that it would actually improve drastically, but no, it hasn’t really changed in any serious way in the last few years.

Why?

The fans of course. It has a small loyal fanbase, and seeing as they depend virtually entirely on their donations then:


Don’t waste your time, the drawing doesn’t exist

They don’t dare change anything, out of a fear that they’ll end up losing their ever precious fans. So they simply stagnate in increasingly more and more bewildering storylines, alienating new readers and scaring away old readers when they realize that fuck all has happened in 4.500 years of reading this crap.


A storyline about mind switching and lingerie just ended here. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

It fucking isn’t.

It’s just another piece of fanservice to their small horde of drooling fans, attempting to get into Sluggy Freelance would presently require the use of the combined Archaeology Department of Cambridge University, a blessing from Horus and Richard Dawkins screaming “DAAARWIN” into your left ear.

Not really worth the effort eh?

Not much change since the great Viziers work eh?

And the damn layout hasn’t changed since 1996 AD.

Remember: Subscribe to my Twitter to get updates when it happens, rather than randomly check my site during the day.

This is a resurected review dragged out of the distant garbage pit of the now derelict ragnarokz.net site.

And for good measure, Sluggy Freelance is the sixth worst webcomic I have ever liked when I was young and stupid.

Katy Perry is about as interesting as late Italian Post-Modern Brutalist Brickworks

Yeah, sorry, she really isn’t anything absurdly interesting or fascinating, as her lunatic fans make her seem like, which is annoying, I was almost expecting decent, and just got boring generic crap.

I’ll give her points for this one, not a gram of redundant fanservice sex appeal, she’s dressed perfectly normal, even if she tries to grab a bit of Bjørk’s magic with the see-through umbrella.

It’s music for the kind of people who think they are intellectuals, but are really just arrogant little bastards, who deserves to be shot for wearing enormous sunshades.

The song is really simple though, and by that, I mean boring.

Throwing in retro-sex appeal is one hell of a bewildering thing to do, personally I find any fashion from before 1959 primitive and barbaric, a remnant of a time where a woman belonged in the thralls of obedience, kitchen and children.

Sad that it’s glorified like that.

Unfortunately “Hot’n’cold” isn’t really embeddable, probably because she hasn’t realized that Record Companies are malevolent bastards who doesn’t benefit anyone beyond a few far shareholders.

It’s an odd blend of “Girl Power” and yet, the line “You change your mind, like a girl changes clothes” is so fundamentally stereotypically wrong and morally bankrupt it’s actually painful to hear.

Apparently the song is about how Katy is a hideously forceful person, and she’s trying to force some poor bastard into a marriage he’s pretty clearly not interested in at all.

Not sure what’s with all this marriage bullshit in these days, it’s like how society just moves forwards and backwards all the time.

In the 1980’s it was popular to marry years after you had freaking kids, rather than before, sure kept the divorce numbers down.

And why the hell is she dressed like that? Did her sales start to drop, so her “manager” is forcing her into a more mainstream slut image? How delightful.

Yep.

They sure have.

Let’s play the “Katy might be lesbian” card, well done Record Company, well done indeed.

Like to demean an entire sexual preference a bit more? Perhaps manufacture a further reinforcement of the twisted vision of femininity the youth gets today?

No fucking wonder we have a lot of youth crime today.

And guess what? It gets worse.

I like how she throws out Penn and Teller, sure they are reactionary lunatics, but they still have more talent than she does.

Should have stick with Gospel, saved us from yet another generic pop-star.

Not even worth the pain really.

Fairly decent pair of breats I suppose.

Another fine example of the cultural impact of the overwhelming ocean of mediocrity commited by the media upon the whole bleeding world.

Aion: Tower of Obvious Grind

Let’s get something out of the way before I start pouring out the bile and hatred on this little stupid Korean MMORPG.

It’s very, very, very pretty. In most cases, when it comes to the environment and scenery, I’ll go as far as “beautiful”, and that’s going far when it comes from the horrible human being who adores Impressionist art.

The environment is utterly alien and completely awesome, it vaguely reminds you of old Morrowind, simply because you see so much odd shit, unlike World of Warcraft, which is actually fairly generic fantasy bollocks.

The character design is as retarded as you’d expect from a Korean MMO, utterly useless armour, wings, bling and more bling.

It’s like some accidentally walked into a Cosplay convention covered in glue. Which I suppose is what Aion’s primary focus group wants: Anime chicks in steel bikinis. Or anime chick in metal dominatrix gear.

It’s silly, useless and about as practical as a sword during the Battle of Midway, standing on a battleship, on the Japanese side, before it gets fistful of torpedoes up it’s ass.


Now, onto the actual gameplay.

It plays like World of Warcraft, pretty much like World of Warcraft, select enemy, murder it, collect loot, enjoy the seething anger of Greenpeace.

There’s one or two stupid little gimmicks and one pretty large stupid gimmick. One of the small ones is the whole combo system, which I believe Age of Conan introduced into mainstream MMOs, which works I suppose, the timing doesn’t have to be absolute, so at least they know about the concept of lag.

The second much larger gimmick, and the one Aion’s been selling itself on, is flight. When you get to lvl 10, you go though a silly little cutscene, get a pair of wings and what? 40 or 50 seconds worth of flight. Woohooo!

I’ll admit that the ability to attack from the air is awesome, to bad there’s plenty of place where you can’t fly, due to gameplay issues and magic wizards of Oz.

So it remains a gimmick.

Now I never made it beyond lvl 12ish, because the game is boring as all hell, if you’re not some weaboo lunatic who lusts after Son-Goku’s useless arse.

I suppose it’s heaven for that particular part of the market, but it’s not heaven for any sane person with tastes that move beyond flashy lights and big muscular men screaming at each other.

Supposedly, there’s alot of active PvP and bollocks, but then, supposedly, Atlantis lies in Sweden and Copenhagen is the capital of Amsterdam.

So yeah, plays like World of Warcraft, looks pretty, has retarded character design only a delusional madman could possibly enjoy.

Which brings me to a small little spot of hatred: The female voices, occasionally you’ll get to hear your character produce some odd moans and noises, presumably in order to be “awesome” or something similar.

To bad the experience was ruined when my supposedly dark and hardcore fireball-slinging sorceress squaked like a four-year old during a cut-scene.

Dear merciful Osiris, they didn’t obliterate the retarded Asian high-pitched girlish scream from the game when they transferred it to the West?

Why am I surprised? This is a game for the deranged anime fans who watch Naruto like it was the second coming of Napoleon.

Anything else? Oh yeah, as I said, I never actually managed to get anywhere impressive with this silly game, so I’ll leave you with this, possibly outdated, little image:

Now, to be fair, I don’t know if it’s still accurate, but the fact that a company is capable of misjudging the entire MMO customer base of the Western world that badly, is kinda scary.

This isn’t the old EverQuest years NCSoft, there aren’t many hardcore loser gamers left, they’ve all gone casual, or have somehow managed to get a life.

The final verdict? Don’t buy this piece of shit, spend your money on something more useful.

Like a lobotomy.

MegaTokyo: The Neverending Story

MegaTokyo is a webcomics that have been running since the late Mesozoic era, originally written by a deranged Dinosaur, it was picked up by Fred Gallagher of the secret Lizardmen cabal, who’s been adding to it ever since.

Having decided that it was time to move his horrible conspiracy forward, Fred decided to draw his awful cliché story back in the glorious year two-thousand. Originally, it was a useless comedy webcomic with gaming and Japanese cartoons.

Orginally drawn in a lazy anime way:

It oddly enough still is, wait, did I type oddly?By Jove! I forgot. Anime fans have NO FUCKING TASTE!

Megatokyo’s entire concept is a clueless, witless, useless, ugly, tasteless and utterly devoid of any human emotion nerd, who travels to Japan for no logical reason, and then goes on with his useless little life.

And despite being so utterly unlikeable, a generic Japanese woman, who doesn’t even vaguely look asian, “fall in love” or perhaps “fall in awkward affection that’ll probably never result in anything”.

And oddly enough, the humourous sidekick has more luck in his love-life, hocking up with some cynical women, and he at least is vaguely relatable, that is, if you’ve been bullied by anyone at anytime.

He’s basically a dick, but he’s a human dick, the main character, Piro, is a vague useless arsewipe, who’s is loved by a pretty girl, or girls, for ONE SINGLE FUCKING REASON!

He is the author, inserted into his own private anime dream world.

It’s a boring pointless story about a boring pointless charachter, occasionally giving paused by the comic relief fighting giant monsters in freaking Tokyo.

Whoopee, what a fucking surpirse.

Don't you miss Tintin? Where high quality backgrounds where a fucking STANDARD!

Megatokyo is the fifth worst webcomic I have ever laid my poor eyes on.

It represent bland anime styles, poor storylines and a neverending story, without the awesome song.

I’d recommend Megatokyo as worthwhile reading, the day the missing continent Kerguelen rises from the depths and unleashes the horrors that has rested there for untold years.