All About Karratti
It may not be as consistent as I'd like, but I'll try to update this with any of my gaming-related thoughts from time to time.
I've been playing games for a long time. I remember when 16-bit games were the new thing, and I watched the rise and then fall of arcade gaming in America. I remember when playing at home with more than two people at once was a revolution. I remember when gaming in a huge group consisted of four Xbox Systems hooked up in four different rooms with a private network as we all played on split-screens and yelled at each other across the house. And now I have fond memories of playing online as well as offline in different aspects.
For me, gaming is not just a solo experience. I mean, I do have those games where I get sucked in and play them on my own, but I really enjoy games where I can play with friends, and I especially like games where I can play with friends in the same room. I enjoy split-screen stuff, and I enjoy online stuff. A lot of times, I wish that games would implement doing both at once a little better. But not all games can be Halo, I guess.
Recently, (about a week ago, I guess), the most recent MAG beta ended. I have to say that I am amazingly impressed. I'm really excited for this game. I don't think there have been too many other games that have so deftly captured the utilization of teamwork in a game, even in games like SOCOM. MAG is seriously in a class of it's own.
Now, for those of you who don't like it, I can sympathize. After playing Modern Warfare 1, and recently 2, this game was a little hard for me to wrap my head around. You see, those games are really more about the solo game, even in multiplayer. It's not about the team, it's about scoring your own points. In Modern Warfare, you run around, maybe camp in a good spot, and try to get as many kills as you can. But MAG isn't that game.
MAG is a slower-paced game where you really have to help your team in order to succeed. If you're looking to be the triumphant hero by blazing a swath of destruction, this isn't your game. Instead, it's about finding your role, and doing it. Not everyone is a front-line soldier. I know that I'm not. I tried my hand a sniping, and though I'm alright, I'm not the best at it. Instead, I've found that I'm an excellent Support and Medical Soldier.
In the beta, the goal was simply either to capture objectives, or to defend objectives. In order to do that, you had to keep your squad alive. While I would sometimes get kills, most often I would simply run up with a Medical Kit and revive people around me, keeping them alive and healthy. There were several games where I would get perhaps two or three kills, but 20+ revives, and I really felt like I was contributing, because the soldiers around me could keep on fighting.
When there were others contributing, I had MAG groups that were simply unstoppable, because everyone was looking out for each other. One soldier would fall, and there would be two there to revive him, heal him up, and repair whatever damage allowed someone to get a shot at him. We would hold our bunkers, hold our ground, and fight hard, because we each knew that someone had our back if something started going sour.
Now, of course, I've played MAG sessions where the opposite is true, and everyone seemed to just be looking out for themselves. It fell apart, and we lost that session horribly. I continued to try to support my teammates, but with no one else looking out for each other, it just became a mess of everyone dying, no one repairing, and no one reviving one another, and the other side just slaughtered us. But even then, as those of us with headsets discussed the game, we realized, for the most part, what went wrong. The lack of teamwork killed us, and we all knew it.
It's a very different crowd though, between MAG and MW2. When I went back into Modern Warfare last night, I was disappointed to realize that the sense of camaradarie was replaced by straight-up anger at one another. Frustration turned into all-out hatred, and soon the racial slurs and sexual epithets started to fly, and I just listened in perverse fascination at the sheer contrast.
How could two games, which on the surface seem so similar, produce such diverse reactions? I think it's just the nature of the design. MAG is focused on teamwork. You can't just muscle your way. You can't just camp in one spot and expect it all to work out for your benefit. The maps are just too big, and there's just too many ways to approach. You need help. You need your teammates.
On the flipside, a MW2 master can just walk his way through the opposition, building up a Killstreak of 10-15 with relative ease if they're good enough. The game is all about showing off how badass you are, how much you can dominate your opponent. And because of that, it's all about the glory of one, and not the glory of your team.
I'll be buying MAG as soon as it comes out, because of that difference. I want to support a game that focuses on putting emphasis toward working together. I don't think that there are enough of them. While Co-Op is on the rise, I think that MAG is on a completely different level. It's in a class of it's own.
I like to play games, but more importantly, I like to play games withmy friends, not just against them. This is a game that will let me do that.
See you guys on the front lines.
(Probably going to be some minor spoilers in here. Just a warning. - K)
Well, I just finished Assassin's Creed 2 last night... Er, this morning. I think it was about 2 or so this morning, actually. It was quite an experience. I really enjoyed the first one, though it did get a little repetitive after a while, and this one does share some of those minor faults, (like Ezio randomly jumping off a building to his death when there is a perfectly good path right in front of him... ), all in all is was a wonderful gaming experience.
But what impressed me even more was the conceptual story. It was very "conspiracy theory" meets "sci-fiction alternate history", and I'm just geek enough to love it. I mean, going through history and referencing Edison, Tesla, Hitler Stalin, JFK, and who knows how many other historical figures, all as part of this grand war that has been fought in the shadows for generations... It was just all too crazy.
At the very end of it all, after Ezio has finally reached his goal, one which even he didn't fully comprehend, and the screen has finally gone dark, you find yourself sitting there, your mind trying desperately to comprehend what in the world you've just seen. There's just a couple amazing beats where nothing happens, and then Desmond comes in and says the exact phrase that you've been thinking:
"What the f***?!"
If you've played the game, and you haven't collected all of the "Truth" symbols, I would recommend doing so, because the amount of work that was put into that side-quest is so unbelievable, it's just kind of astounding. There were just so many moments as I was working through those puzzles where I couldn't believe the connections that they were making. Of course, it's all fiction, but it has such a feeling of truth to it that I was simply blown away.
What an amazing work. This is the kind of story that gaming deserves, and I'm really excited for the next one in a few years. Congrats, Ubisoft. You've bested yourself in an amazing way.
I've been playing Modern Warfare 2 since it first came out. I picked up the Hardened Edition on day one, beat the normal campaign that night, and then started playing the online multiplayer, quickly coming up against Level 50 and Level 60 players in the Team Deathmatch modes, and regularly getting my butt handed to me over and over. Since then, I've gotten better and better, learning new strategies, coming to understand the game a little better, and improving skills.
But I think my biggest help has come in the form of the Offline Multiplayer of MW2.
Now, I don't know it it was just an afterthought, but playing offline is an almost identical experience to playing online, albiet with a considerably smaller group. I have a group of six friends or so who have come to really enjoy the game, and we get together every week or so and play for a few hours, and it's really been a blast. Everyone creates their own profile, and so they get to track their own progress. It brings me back to the old days of Goldeneye or other similar split-screen games before online gaming became the standard.
After every match, each of us will go through, hoping that we unlocked some new Callsign or Emblem, or maybe got that gun upgrade or Perk Unlock that we've been working on. We do silly things, try new strategies, and generally all just die a lot. And with the XP system completely intact, just about everything you do brings you a little closer to another unlock or upgrade or something else, and the action doesn't seem to get stale. It's an engrossing experience, which has just made for some really crazy nights.
It's such a different experience when you're not only playing with other people, but when those people are in the room with you. While tempers have flared on occasion, things generally stay in good spirits, and there isn't the usual annoyances of prepubescent or otherwise immature players singing or shouting stupidity into their headsets. It's just friends playing the game. And even though we're all not all that good, we're getting better.
The only complaints that I have, (and I know Infinity Ward is reading this, so I'll be sure to spell them out clearly ), are minor. But here they are.
1. LAN - While network support is included, it only allows for one-player-per-machine, which is annoying. While we can play four people split-screen, we can't add another system and play with eight. I don't know how difficult that would be to release in a patch or something, or even in DLC, but I know I'd really enjoy it. It's just that there might not be enough demand for it.
2. No Map Cycling - Every time you play, you have to change the map, which is tedious. I wish that there was a "RANDOM" option that we could just highlight, and leave alone, but there isn't. So we've just taken to starting at Afghan every time and cycling through the maps manually. It only takes a second, but that would have been a nice feature.
3. Radar On by Default - Every time we change the map, the "Game Mode" option switches the "Radar Always On" mode to "Yes", which is kind of stupid. My friends and I debate about whether it enhances or detracts from the game, but I personally prefer it to be off. There's no subtlety or sneaking when everyone in the map knows exactly where you are at all times, and some of the perks and weapons upgrades are designed specifically to keep you off the radar as much as possible. I just wish that the options that you select once would save, so that you didn't have to go in and rearrange your options every time that you changed the map.
All in all, it's a very cool, but very likely underutilized feature. If you have some buddies over and have nothing to do, I highly recommend giving this a try.
Karratti does not have any recent activity. What a slacker! Maybe you should send Karratti a private message and ask, "Where are you hiding?"