Black Ops 2

For the first time in months I decided to sit down and play some Black Ops 2. I've loved the Call of Duty series for years and in particular I have played World at War and Black Ops 1 to death, so this evening I decided I'd play the latest for a few hours. I really like the maps and the style of the weapons. And I love the sound effects, but overall it has unfortunately It left me feeling more frustrated than...well, enjoying myself, so I decided to write about two things that stood out to me and see what the duders think!

Matchmaking

Firstly, I was surprised to see that in all the matches I played I only saw 4 other people that hadn't prestiged, however even then they were all in their 50's. I am level 28. I scrolled through the lobby in disbelief seeing prestige 3,7,9,4,8,9,Master (whatever that is). It was really disheartening sitting in the lobby thinking, "well I'm about to get my ass handed to me" game after game after game. Now before I get corrected by a zillion people I know prestige isn't really about skill but time. So these dudes are not necessarily amazing but just really experienced. Well as far as I'm concerned its the same thing. Whether they suck or not, in order to be a Master prestige you'll have played the game so much you know every map, line of sight, tricks and gun inside out. I don't. I have a general awareness of my location in a map but I don't know every line of sight, far from it. They could suck beyond belief and I could be a pro but that won't stop me being killed by some hidden sniper in a window I didn't know you could get to. In previous instalments I remember it being common to have most people in the lobby be the first prestige, or occasionally the second or third. But seeing clans of master prestige in rotation is a first. Everyone loves a challenge but it's just not fun being matched against people who are so much better than I over and over. It may be fun for a sunday pub football team to play the Man Utd first team in a one off, but it's pointless playing match after match after match. It gives a legitimate excuse to getting my ass handed to me, but I'd rather not have it. I'd much rather get my ass handed to me by people in and around my level and know that they have had just as much time with the game as me, and I just suck!

Kill Streaks

I think this is a problem that the COD games have had for a while. Those matches where you cannot move for being blown up by the sky, and if you do try to shoot the helicopters and things down, you get shot. This is not a problem if its a rarity. Indeed in previous COD games it would happen, often in MW2 and MW3 but in Black Ops 1 I felt like I managed to avoid this occurring all too often. I guess its really stood out for me today as it has been combined with the match-making. So I've played game after game where somebody in a master prestige gets all this amazing stuff, which allows others in the team to get amazing things, meaning I am faced with a "leave the game or stand here and die" option.

So what would make the perfect FPS? I dunno. I like a challenge, I like the kill-streaks. I guess my complaint can be described in one word and that's "Moderation". This game with a group of similarly skilled players would be awesome, but for some reason I'm placed with really skilled players which take away my opportunity to enjoy the game or even try and get a middling kill streak. I want every aspect the game can offer but in moderation. Too much ruins it!

Oh and lastly, I guess the internet hating campers finally meant they changed ghost and made silencers harder to obtain. In my opinion its a huge shame because traditionally sneaking about is one way to effectively combat groups of really good players. Getting killed by someone in a corner sucked, but in playing the game you could learn about these corners and know how to counter the camper. Pushing the ghost to higher levels means that in my experiences Mr Master prestige is the one sneaking up behind me with a silencer, while I cannot counter at all!

So there we go. Those were my thoughts, what are your thoughts? Agree...disagree?!

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Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 - My lost game :(


I love myself a good bit of rollercoaster tycoon. I like to build my own scenarios where i can go design crazy and build amazing parks. I tend to play the game intensly for about 2 months, then go off it for about 10 months then come back to it again. I love the game so much, and its one of those games that the more you play it the more things you realise you want for the next in the series. As i build stuff I'm always thinking "in RCT4 they should really change the way they handle......X" The community is quite alive as well with tons of really well made custom scenary. People have also found a way to expand the game, by creating items such as lighting for rides and rocks to build caves. Sounds rubbish if you don't play these games, but if you do you'll understand!  
 
I reckon if a developer wanted to make RCt4 they could get a great success by doing 3 things. 
 
 1. Nail the key elements.  
 
e.g. get really nice graphics in the style of the games, do what will wright did with spore. Get the core building tools perfect. If i could go into a RCT game and be able to easily form cliffs and caves and waterfalls and then have coasters running in and out of them without the ground spazzing it would be awesome. Theese are the core elements. The games main features have to work 110%. Somthing like building a path running along a cliff and then underground to attach to a station should be made simple.

2. Listen to the community on what they want.
 
Theres a great community of people building Custom stuff for the RCT games and they are so focused on what they do. This is one game that a forum asking for ideas would help no end. Every suggestion will make the game better. Its not like Halo or COD where a thousand 13 yr olds are gonna write "BIG GUNS PLEASE" Because the last game was quite old the people who would track down these forums are people genuinly interested, and most of the suggestions would be simple to implement. For example, a suggestion such as. "please allow speakers to be in the shape or rocks, bushes,small themed scenary" would be easy to draw and would be a great game addition. Not a huge thing, but a nice little change. Instead of having an ugly speaker blasting out my music i'll have a themed one.  
 
3. Add new features to the game. 
this is similar to the last point, but i mean bigger things. If you listened to the community alone you'd end up with a great game, but it would be more like RCT3.5 It would be the last game with all the features neatly wrapped up.  The developer would have to add bigger new items in. Such as a way to build caves, huge caves with indoor lakes and waterfalls, or add hotels! You get my jist, but the important point is that they have to still listen to the community. I mentioned that you need new things or the game would be RCT 3.5. To build a long term great game you have to aim to give your own game the .5 By this i mean, say the developers added caves. There would be a huge list of tiny little items that the community would identify when using the tools, e.g. they may want to customise the entrances to the caves, or have small tunnels. The developer should patch into the game these changes as much as they can. 
 
 
Now heres the sad end to my blog post, its never going to happen. Why? cos Chris Sawyer took Atari to court over some issue with the IP. That case got wrapped up way back in 2005. But for me its 1.25am and i've just finished reading the case and Its too boring to decipher into a blog. It just aint happening. Unless some other developer notices the demand for the game and decides to make a themepark game of their own. Rollingcoaster Tycoon all they way! Spritual successors are the way forward!  
 
Who else has a favourite game thats lost in a eternal will they wont they? Duke Nukem? Star Wars Battlefront?
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