Volume Three: The Craft of War – Casual Learning Curve

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Another post regarding “Warcraft III”, which I am honestly considering doing weekly. It all depends on how I handle the difficulty really, though things went quite nice this week. I’m not sure how things will turn up for the upcoming one, given how much trouble I am having with the Orc Campaign in “RoC” right now. We’ll see… Anyways, here’s what I’ve managed to accomplish during this week:

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“Monolith” is a classic scenario map that always gave me trouble back in the days. It didn’t matter if I played it with friends or an ally CPU, the enemy always managed to overwhelm my forces. On this map, you face custom- built races, like Murlocs or Trolls, who have their own set of gimmicks and strategy regarding their structures, heroes and units. The Thunder Lizards and The Beast Master[?] ones are the worst races to play against, while the rest are quite manageable. The goal is to destroy the main building [The Monolith] of each opponent, which also disables them completely from further interference in the game. Monolith Shard Pieces are items scattered around the map, which can be picked by both sides. Having them in your possession lets you disrupt various enemy units a number of times, turning them against each other. If the Monolith Beasts pick them up, they can set up some pretty tough tower buildings, which melt down low level units in no-time! Honestly, the only reason to pick those up before the enemy is so you can prevent them from setting up lots of towers, since the activation effect of the monolith shard does not have that big of an impact on the map. [P.S. I am not totally sure if the enemy actually picks and places them. Rather, I think it’s just something that they can build. I don’t know…]

I’ve decided to give myself some [Easy] CPU allies, since I wanted to face the maximum number of enemies. [Number of players affect number of enemy players.You can’t face them all solo, sadly…] My first two attempts ended in failure. The Night Elf Warden is not all that good of a hero for this map, at least not for the mid and late game. Priestess of the Moon did the work quiet nicely, along with a quick tech to tier three, where I managed to get myself some chimaeras to help me melt the Monoliths quickly. Controlled the early game with Huntresses, who are really effective against the masses of low tier units that the enemy tends to make.

Auras and quick tech are really important for team games. I LEARN THINGS, HECK YEAH!

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The Last Guardian is a custom campaign for Warcraft III, with a primary focus on puzzle-solving and less fighting. By puzzles, it should be mention that 85% of the game is just fetch-quests, with actual puzzles coming into gameplay every now and then. I don’t know if it’s right from my part to be critical about it, since I’m not entirely sure as to what are the limits of the “Warcraft III” editor. Regardless, each map of this campaign has much to offer, to the point where one is without a doubt not going to care all that much about any annoying little details. I mean, every place is set up and built really nicely and the custom models are just…great! Again, I don’t really have any experience on the editor of the game, I’m just stating my honest personal opinion regarding my experience. There is quite a bit to explore on each chapter, but as a whole, the gameplay is pretty straightforward. The overall interaction setup in this campaign made my whole experience with it really pleasant!

As for the plot, the campaign revolves around “The Last Guardian – Medivh” and his deeds around the time when the Orcs came into Azeroth. You play as his new apprentice, Khadgar who is tasked with solving various tasks, ultimately leading to the discovery of Medivh’s betrayal and his death. I’m not quite in touch with the whole story as a whole. I’ve recently watched the movie and I know about the book and… I guess it’s fine…?

This is the post where I make excuses for not knowing things regarding the game, but would I be having any fun if I knew it all? Maybe. I had fun with the statue/Medivh fight in the last chapter of this campaign though.

This campaign was quite alright and I would gladly suggest it to anyone.Even to people who have never played Warcraft III or just hate the game for whatever reason whatsoever. PLAY THIS CAMPAIGN, IT’S ENJOYABLE!

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The official Undead Campaign of “RoC” also taught me a lot of things about the game! Way to go hard difficulty! I regret avoiding you back in the days…

Siege Weapons are good and should not be overlooked, especially if you are dealing with an enemy who uses a lot of ranged units. This is a key element for clearing chapters Three to Five. Also, making the right picks when it comes to attacking bases and overall positioning on the map. You can’t really get away by relying on towers alone for base protection on hard difficulty. Same can be said about attacking bases at random. As a whole, one should aim to deal with the huge threats first, especially those involving the production of an enemy siege units/heroes who are attacking your base constantly.

I was feeling quite uneasy about chapter six. I expected the wost coming from all the Orc enemies that you need to deal with, but turns out that they are no match at all for masses of Frost Wyrms and Gargoyles. On another note, it seems that if you don’t reveal the red Orc Base, you won’t have to deal with the Level 10, Red Dragon attacks, which is quite nice, since on Hard difficulty, the number of Dragons who attack you is set to TWO! [Sending a shade to scout the red Orc base would trigger him to attack…it seems…] Also, Arthas ultimate is really good for turning attacks around, even though all you can get from the reanimated units is to bring one tower or so. Still, it’s something…

Did I have trouble with the last chapter? Of course! I had to replay it five times in total. Why? Because I underestimated a lot of things. One of those, which I think was the most crucial one,is the gold income. You can’t really stand up to all those attacks without a good support of towers and units. And for that you honestly need more than just the gold mine that you have at the start. Expansions and upkeep management is really important!!! Even then, protecting Mr. The Lich Summoner can end up in failure if you are not careful! Having trouble with the final attack from the fully-upgraded humans? Had enough of those pesky Archmages and their annoying Blizzard spell? Gryphons swarm over Kel’Thuzad and one-shot him before you can even heal him?

Possess and enemy sorceress with a banshee. Use the sorceress to remove the Lich out of sight! There! That’s the secret to deal with the hardest part of the mission! The rest really depends on how many towers you can build and if you can keep your Fel Hounds and Infernals healthy enough all the time.

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…and then I was like, Man, this video game is GREAT! /moments

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I remember video games since the mid 90s, when the hot stuff in my country were the handheld “Tetris” devices, Famiclones and PC games. Due to the fact that they were a brand new experience, they all had a great and unique vibe within’. However, there were titles that managed to leave an incredible impressions on me, which still remain to this day.

I am going to list some of those in this post, state my opinion on them and share my past experiences.

“Jazz Jackrabbit 2”

This is a game that I played on my cousin’s PC in 1998. PC gaming as a whole was a brand new experience for me, so I had trouble working with the keyboard.I was mostly used to the Famiclone’s controller at that time. [Nowadays is the other way around…] I got hooked on the game and I don’t think it was because it was a new experience for me.I played many other PC games after and pretty much none were as fun as Jazz Jackrabbit 2. To this day, I still think it’s a solid platformer, with great music and neat level design. Quite buggy and glitchy, but still pretty fun. I played it with pretty much every one of my friends.They are not my friends anymore. PRO TIP: DON’T STOCK ON AND SPAM THE HEAT-SEEKING MISSILE WEAPON WHEN YOU PLAY AGAINST FRIENDS!

I’ve actually tried doing the game for the LR19’s vault, but gave up for a time being.Windows 7 doesn’t like the game, but I’ll get back to it eventually and fix the compatibility problem. It’s a TBD title!

“Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight”

My uncle had lots of cash on him one day, so he let me pick one of the expensive Famicom cartridges at the local market. Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight blew my mind right away. “I never knew NES games can look this good…” was one of my thoughts.I remember being 8 or 9 years old and I remember having hard time with the game. I played it a lot with my brother, but he was no good at it, mainly because he didn’t played it as much as I did. Eventually, I managed to beat it.I have to say, it’s one of those games that I felt good spending time on.

I cleared it again for one of the LR19 NES volumes.It got 12th place in the ranking list.

“Heroes of Might and Magic III”

I was introduced to the game by a friend at the local gaming club.Two weeks later I already learned everything about the game and I started building my own levels.What did I like about this game? Everything! RPG with variety, great music and FUN gameplay. Troglodytes! Magic! Turn based! Troglodytes! There is so much content in the game and the learning curve is pretty fast and easy.

I tried doing it for the LR19 vault.It went pretty well, but I need to get better at Impossible difficulty if I wanna super clear it…

“Oni”

One of my brother’s friends gave me over forty CDs with nothing but games on them. Oni was in one of the CDs! I remember playing it with a friend of mine who kept saying: “I really wanna fuck Konoko’s ass!” I also remember having lots of fun with the game, what with the fighting system and the huge levels that I really liked to explore fully. Bosses were fun. The plot was exciting. This is one of the games that I really wanted to see a sequel or at least a multiplayer option. Sadly, it never happen and I hope it stays that way. A new Oni game after so many years would just be… ugh, NO!

I kinda wanna do it for the vault by beating it on the highest difficulty.Just kinda.At least at the moment.

“Neverwinter Nights”

Another one from the forty-CDs pile that I got gifted. I remember playing it while i was really sick.I also remember playing it when I was supposed to go to school… and table tennis practice. I also played it a lot with my friends. The cinematics were really impressive.What was new for me was also the character customization. – Not only in terms of visuals, but gameplay as well. Hell, this is my favorite game of all time and Deekin is still as rad as he was back in the days!

I wanna do it badly at some point.Along with the many exciting modules…Everything! I LOVE NEVERWINTER NIGHTS! [The first only!]

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There are many other games that left me with the same feelings as these five.I would say though that these ones are the most memorable.Most.

Puzzle De Wahhouu! – Leaving any doubts behind!

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Back to doujin games,this time with this unpopular piece.Based on “A Little Snow Fairy Sugar” – A series that speak quite well about the anime and manga trends back in those days.Back when the art was rough,the plot was dragging and boring,everything was overdramatized and…wait a minute!Things haven’t changed!There is just more fanservice and moe nowadays to help boost the viewer’s life insecurities.But enough of this crap…

Puzzle platformer – My first impression from the screenshots was that this was going to be a baby cake.One reason for that was due to the art,which seemed unpolished,rough,in need of a few touches,but then again,we are talking about the time period around 2002.[Judging a book by its cover.Cmon “Me”!]The other reason was me getting really cocky when it comes to platforming games of any kind.

So I went through the tutorial of the game,where everything that I needed to know was explained in a simple way.I don’t remember if there were additional things that were added out of the blue later,during the main game,so let’s assume that the tutorial did its job to properly introduce me to the game.[It did,but I never listen…]You play as the Sugar,a fairy character from the series,who likes to eat waffles and sing on a flute.That’s as far as my knowedge goes.I watched one episode of the show for potential helpful refrences for this post and man do I regred it.So…We have the typical normal platforming bits of moving around,jumping and climbing ladders,in addition to a gimmick where you collect snowflakes and use them to create platforms.Eat all waffles on the screen – beat the level.Simple enough!I started the main game,got stuck in the first world.By stuck,I mean really stuck!Fifteen minutes until I figured it out!Then I went to take a look at the rest of the stages,which on the first sight looked really complicated.I was starting to have doubts about the fact that I can beat the other stages!It was a pretty nice touch that the game lets you choose any stage you want to play.That way if you get bored of busting your brains on one stage,you can always switch to another!You can also close the game,go outside for a walk,meet with friends,spend some real life quality time!Hell,you can even go for a nap!So many possibilities!Anyways…

Puzzle de wahhou DONE!

Eventually,I’ve managed to beat all the stages through the simple logical path of discarding any bad moves that lead to dead ends,and avoiding the potential loops that sent you to them in first place.Honestly,that’s such a common problem when you play puzzle and adventure games…I don’t know about other people,but regardless of my experience,I still can’t quite shake it off me.

Music was pretty alright.The whole game feels pretty short to be fair.It lacks any actual ending and it only rewards you with ART for beating all the stages in each world.[Can’t say the art rewards felt exciting…]Well…

It was decently fun.This is all I can say. A 5.5 out of 10 material.

THE VOICE ACTING IN THE GAME FOR SUGAR CAN GET A BIT ANNOYING AFTER A WHILE!I SWEAR IT’S ONLY “A BIT”!