-These game reviews are my own personal opinions on Mac games including, but not limited to, games on my site.
Starcraft: Very addicting! It's one of those games that you can play forever. Starcraft has a very good single player campaign. Once you finish the single player campaign... guess what, you have two more races to play! Then when you finish the single player campaigns, you can go online and play against other people around the world. Playing against actual people forces you to change your strategies since people's strategies vary greatly from the computer's. What's that you say? You would get tired of playing on the same maps? It's a good thing for you that Starcraft has a built in map editor. With its easy interface, you can easily make your own multiplayer maps. On a big map a multiplayer game can go on forever! Try 8 hours! I didn't play it all in one sitting mind you. Like I said, it's one of those games you can play forever. Another nice feature is the game balance. All of the races have very different abilities, weapons, upgrades, defense, etc. But for every aspect of a race, another race has something to counter it. At this point it becomes a matter of knowing everything about your enemy. This is accomplished by playing all of the races. As you can see, this gets pretty involved. All in all, I would highly recommend this game.
Diablo: A fun game, but only for a while. It has a good plot and everything, but there are some bugs that make the game loose its appeal. This is another one of those games that allows you to continually improve your character. This is to be expected from a Role Playing Game (RPG). Improving your character so you can better fight evil as well as other players online is what makes this game fun. However, the vast majority of people, mostly online players, use cheats and bugs within the game to improve their character to god-like status. Don't get me wrong, cheating can be fun, but only for a while. I actually have a Mac trainer (a trainer is the name for a Diablo character hack program) on my Diablo page. However, the problem with using cheats is after a while the game becomes pointless. The whole purpose of a RPG is to improve your character. This purpose is nullified when you start cheating. So what, the answer is simple... DON'T CHEAT. This is easier said than done. Like I said, the majority of online players use cheats. Most of these cheaters are what Diablo players call PKs (player killers). This means they exploit their new found god-like powers and use them to kill other players, cheaters or not. If you are a legit player who just wants to continue the fight against evil without cheating as to keep the game fun, then you are pretty much screwed. When a PK kills you you loose most of your gold (a precious thing for a legit player) and I think you loose some of your weapons and such too. At this point you are mad because it took you a long time to earn the things you lost, but how do you get your stuff back? The PK is most certainly waiting for you to return to your corpse and retrieve your items, if he hasn't already taken them and left already. Wait! I know! You could use a trainer so PKs couldn't kill you and you could actually stand a chance of killing them. Now you are beginning to see the vicious cycle this makes. Granted, if you only play with people you know aren't cheaters then you are probably safe... PROBABLY. There is no way of knowing for sure whether or not you are safe. On a more positive note, with cheating set aside, Diablo is a very fun and addicting game. Be sure to get some sleep!
Shadow Warrior: This game is your classic first person shooter with a twist. The twist constitutes a lot of things. First of all, instead of your character being the classic 6'4'', buffed, white male on steroids, you are a Chinese guy. You have all of these weird and cool weapons ranging from the samurai sword to the undead head you hold in your hand that shoots fireballs. Plus, Lo Wang (the character you play) has all of these funny comments he makes throughout the game: "Whooooooooo want-a some Wang?", "Like-a Chinese New Years fireworks", "It is a good day to die", "You want to wash Wang, or you want to watch Wang wash Wang? (when he's talking to a woman bathing)", "Ewwww! It smell-a like shit"... you get the point. At one point he says something about his penis. He he! You get to fight all kinds of weird enemies ranging from killer bees to huge serpents to a gargantuan samurai guy that farts on you. Yikes! Getting back to the weapons, besides the sword and undead head, you get Chinese stars, a grenade launcher, a rail gun, sticky bombs, machine guns, your own flying fists, a rocket launcher with heat seeking capabilities, and a thermal-nuclear warhead that is RIDICULUSLY powerful! In some levels you get to drive things like jet skis and huge tractors with machine gun turrets. The maps themselves are all uniquely different. This makes for more interesting game play. There are also special items you can get and use such as smoke bombs (invisibility), flash bombs, poison gas bombs, night vision goggles, med kits, etc. There are tons of puzzels to unlock and secrets to find. Each level has some kind of hidden switch to pull or some special route to take. The secret areas are really hard to find sometimes, but are always rewarding. And even better yet is the fact that you don't need a fat graphics card to play it; it runs great on older machines. Definately a cool game!
Warcraft 1: One of the great classics! Though it's dwarfed by many new games, it's still cool. It's one of those games that's fun to reinstall and play a couple levels just to bring back memories. When I first got Warcraft 1 about 4 years ago I was sooooo lovin' it. Every day after school I would come home and plug into it. I was really addicted to the story line. To summarize this game... it's one of the original "build your base/ defend/ destroy the enemy" type of games. It's basically a stripped down version of Starcraft (read Starcraft review), not quite as involved, but the same basic idea. Since it is similar to Starcraft, it has the same addicting quality. But, of course, once you've played Starcraft it's hard to enjoy Warcraft 1 as much. It's a fun game but it doesn't give you nearly the "involved in the game" feeling that a game like Starcraft does. Did I mention the comparison between Warcraft 1 and Starcraft yet? /*chuckle : )*/ The strategy part of Warcraft 1 is lacking. Warcraft 1 is a game where the player learns one good tactic, and that tactic works for most scenarios so the game becomes repetative and pointless... unlike Starcraft. Did I ever tell you that I really like Starcraft? : ) In conclusion, Starcraft is an awesome game. Oh wait, I'm supposed to be talking about Warcraft 1. Oh well. LOL!
Warcraft 2: Definately better than Warcraft 1. It's not as good as Starcraft (in case you couldn't tell, I really like Starcraft), but it's a big improvement over Warcraft 1. This is mainly due to the fact that Warcraft 2 has more "stuff" in general. It has more weapons, guys, and spells. This, in turn, makes for more varying strategies and game play on the bigger and more numerous maps in Warcraft 2. This game is also really fun to play on a network. I've seen Mac gaming competitions with a section of Warcraft 2 games. There were four to a game. It was awesome! I didn't get to play though. I love the Orcish sounds that the Orc characters make. I admit it, I think the Orcs are just cool! And they're so darn cute, and green, and hairy, and stuff. : ) The game play in Warcraft 2 is more balanced than in Warcraft 1, meaning that there aren't really any cheap tricks that one race has that the other one doesn't. And guess what! You can select more than 4 guys at a time! What a concept! (Warcraft 1 only allowed for a max of 4 guys selected at a time) Another cool addition to Warcraft 2 is the water environment. You can have entire water fleets! This changes the game drastically from Warcraft 1. And with this water environment comes a new resource to harvest. That new resource is oil. Oil is needed for many advanced structures and units. All of this is included in the extra "stuff" in Warcraft 2 that makes it more fun in general. Though it's an older game, it's still a good one to play every so often... but it's no Starcraft.
Escape Velocity: Freakin' addicting! I was soooo hooked on this game for so long. When I first started playing this game I wasn't that thrilled with it. Then as I got into it more I realized that it was a totally awesome game. In this game you start out as the pilot of a shuttle craft. You take cargo from planet to planet, solar system to solar system, and get paid for your services. You have to use your money to buy fuel for your ship and stuff. But when you get enough money saved up is when it starts getting fun. You can get upgrades for your ship; this includes everything from bigger cargo bays to offensive and defensive upgrades... yes, you go into battle in this game! Of course, a little shuttle craft could never be much of a space fighter. What to do? Just buy a new ship! You get ships that are faster and more maneuverable which is good in combat. You can buy missile and proton turrets to disable and board other ships (and steal their cargo, of course). But watch out! If you start attacking a ship and his friend is near by then you have multiple ships ganging up on you. Looks like it's time to use that after burner you bought as an upgrade (sucks your feul but propels you out of danger). As you progress in this game you get bigger ships and better weapons. But what about the money issue? All the other ships are looking at you funny in your war ship hauling vegetable goods accross the galaxy. If only you could get a steady source of money coming in without having to run errands for everyone. That's where dominating planets comes in. Well, I don't want to spoil it for you, so I'll end with two more items. Your actions have consequences in the systems you commit them in. If you attack pirate ships in a non-pirate system then your citizenship rating will go up and everyone in that system will be friendly to you. By dominating planets your citizenship goes WAY down and everyone tries to attack you. But by dominating planets you get daily tribute paid to you so you always have money without having to do cargo runs. It's a give and take situation. Lastly, once you get all buffed out you can take on top secret Confederate missions and/or Rebel missions. By allying yourself with the Confeds or the Rebels you get major bonuses in the form of superweapons and the option to buy Cruiser Attack Vessels. This game is highly recommended!
More to come... -Jakeman